How to Count Calories to Lose Weight?
Learning how to count calories is the key to successful weight loss. Counting calories is easy and effective. If you want to lose weight and keep those pounds off forever, it is important that you take the time and learn this critical skill.
The first step in counting calories is understanding what a calorie is and how it applies to your weight. Your body uses caloric energy to perform everything from basic biological functions to typing to running around the block. A calorie is a unit of energy.
We all have a certain caloric requirement necessary to maintain our current weight. If you eat fewer calories than you need (or burn excess calories), you will create a caloric deficit and lose weight.
Find out how many calories you need
There are several ways to determine the number of calories needed each day to maintain weight.
One method is called the Harris-Benedict formula. It is a mathematical formula that determines your caloric needs based on your gender, weight, and activity level. The result of the formula is known as the basal metabolic rate. You can also use the calculators provided by the USDA SuperTracker program to determine your daily caloric needs.
Once you know the number of calories you need to maintain your weight, you can create your own calorie goals for weight loss. It is up to you how many calories you eliminate from your daily diet.
Experts estimate that it takes a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories to lose one pound. Therefore, it can be helpful to cut 500 calories a day to lose a pound a week. Or if you want to lose weight faster, you can combine exercise and diet to achieve a deficit of 1,000 calories a week to lose a pound a week.
Monitor your calorie intake
The next step in your weight loss process is to monitor your daily calorie intake. To do this, it will be helpful to learn to read food labels. Food labels help you identify the calorie content of the foods and beverages you eat.
When you scan the Nutrition Facts label, you will see that the calorie count appears just below the thick black line at the top. It is important that you also note the list of serving sizes on the label. If you eat more than one serving, you will need to multiply the calorie count by the number of servings consumed to get an exact number.
You can also use online tools to find calorie and nutritional information. They allow you to find nutritional information for many different types of food, including restaurant foods.
Control your portion sizes
Portion control will make counting calories and losing weight much easier. If you eat smaller portions of high-calorie foods and eat the correct portions at meal times, you will lose weight faster.
The easiest way to control your portions is to use a simple measuring cup. Many foods, like cereals and pasta, measure in 1/2 cup or cup. Fluid ounces, like drinks, can also be measured with a measuring cup. Some foods, like peanut butter, pancake syrup, or jelly, are measured by the tablespoon.
Some foods, like margarine bars, can be difficult to measure with a spoon; a serving of margarine, for example, can be measured using the "ruler" provided on the product packaging.
There are other ways to measure portion sizes if you don't have a measuring cup handy. Some people use their hands to measure the correct amount of food, and others use an inexpensive digital kitchen scale.
Many foods are available in "single serving" packages. This means that you can eat all the foods in the package based on the number of calories listed. It is important not to assume that a package is a single serving.
Check the Nutrition Facts label and look for the "servings per package" or "servings per package" section. If it says "," then you don't need to measure or count foods to know your caloric intake.
Use tools and apps to count calories
You want to track your daily and weekly calorie figures using an online application or a website. For example, if you have a Fitbit, the app and online dashboard help you manage your calorie information to lose weight faster. But you can also use free services like MyFitnessPal to lose weight.
If you prefer not to use a high-tech method, you can use the simple paper and pencil method. Starting a food journal is easy and inexpensive. And you can use your weight loss journal to explore areas with eating problems or emotional problems.
Review your daily diet as often as possible to identify ways to cut calories. For example, if you consistently exceed your calorie goal by 100 calories, eliminating just one can of soda removes that excess.
It is important that you identify the foods to eliminate or reduce so that your diet is healthier. A diet that includes lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and some fat will provide you with the right nutrients to keep your body strong and healthy.
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