How to Count Calories for Weight Loss
I have never been one for dieting, as I don’t have the patience for it. Nor do I really understand the fuss about why one diet is flavor of the month and then scorned the following month. Nor do I live in a city where I can easily get my hands on most of the foods you’d need for special diets, and if I did, they’d be outrageously expensive and I can’t be bothered with that, either. So what do I do? I count calories. This is the easiest no-brainer (well, almost) diet program that anyone can do. And yes, you will lose weight if you stick to it. Do not roll your eyes until you see how easy it is – not unless you want to stay overweight while the rest of us trim up. I promise, this is a diet a toddler could understand.
Sorting your BMR out.
Ok, this involves a tiny bit of math, but we're going to use an easy-peasy calculator, so no worries. We need to figure out what your base metabolic rate is (BMR) so’s we can figure out how many calories you actually need to keep your current weight going. Once we figure this out, you will then start to eat fewer calories, and the weight will start to go bye-bye. Go here, enter your age, height and weight and it will give you a good BMR estimate. Stay on that calculation page and go to the next step.
Now let’s sort your daily caloric needs out.
Now that you know your BMR, enter the number of minutes you spend in various activity levels in the second calculator. This estimate should tell you how many calories you need to consume every day in order to *maintain* your current weight. You will need to reduce this intake/increase your caloric usage in order to lose weight.
Calorie Counting made easy!
Now that we know how many calories you need to burn on a daily basis in order to lose weight, you can start counting. 10 years ago, this was probably a great big pain in the arse, but not today it ain’t. You can try numerous calorie counting sites, or you can try About.com’s free Calorie Count site, which I happen to use myself. You simply type your food into the search box and it pulls up all the nutrition data you need! How easy can you get?!? And if you’ve got something special you want to add, you can always enter things manually, tag them, and save them for future food log entries.
Please note that you should not be cutting your caloric intake by a large amount, as that would be both unhealthy and futile; you can’t drop more than a couple of pounds per week, regardless. To give you an example, my caloric needs are about 1500 and I’ve been eating about 1200 calories a day for awhile now with fantastic results. Keep in mind that I also exercise and strength train, so I can eat a little more at times.
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