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Week 4 - Simple Calorie Counting

Updated on June 19, 2013
Week 4 of 52 diets in 52 Weeks - Simple Calorie Counting
Week 4 of 52 diets in 52 Weeks - Simple Calorie Counting

January 22-28

Calorie Counting

I thought I would just do a simple calorie counting diet this week. My goal is to keep each day under a reasonable 1500 calories. This amount of calories should be the perfect amount to help me lose weight, but not feel completely hungry all the time. I could probably lose with even more calories, but as much as I don't want to put pressure on myself, I'd like to be losing weight at a rate of 2 lbs a week. But I'm not going to emphasize that too much, because I don't want to feel like a failure if it doesn't happen.

Calories are units of heat energy. A calorie is defined as: "The energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water through 1 °C" Calories are what fuel our bodies, what keeps our heart beating and our brains working. Calories are not our enemy, they are our friend. Our bodies are pretty amazing. When we consume calories it takes that heat energy stored inside each calorie and uses that energy to run our vital functions and to help us walk, run, chew and talk. When we consume MORE calories than we need to maintain the activities our body is subject to that day, we store those calories in special cells used just for that function, our "Fat" cells. When we consume LESS calories than we burn on a given day we USE up some of that stored energy.

All those little stored units of heat energy slowly build up inside our bodies and we get bigger and bigger and bigger. Just think of all that fat as hundreds of thousands of little tiny little calorie units that you have been hoarding for years. To get rid of all those extra units of energy, ou must use them all up. There are only 2 ways to do that, either consume less calories than your body uses, OR use up more calories than you have eaten by doing activities that burns calories. Or, you can do both, and burn up twice as many calories!

There are other ways to lose weight too. Running a fever or being overly hot gets rid of calories. If your body increases it's internal temperature by just .5 Celsius your metabolic rate increases by 7%. And your base metabolic rate increases 7% for each .5 C that your core temperature is increased. This is ONE of the reasons that you often quickly drop pounds when sick (along with many sick symptoms causing dehydration). And this is why when wrestlers are trying to cut weight they will work out in many layers of clothes. They are raising their metabolic rate and "sweating out" any extra fluids. This all makes sense when you think of a calorie as a unit of heat energy. The more calories (or internal heat) you burn, the hotter you get. That's why when you work out, you get hotter. If you aren't getting hotter, you aren't using as many calories as someone who does. Your body then uses sweat to try to cool you back down.

Back to the Diet

Okay, so after doing all that research and learning more about a calorie, all these diets seem a bit silly. The science is so basic and clear cut that there is really only one way to lose that fat. You can lose 5 lbs of water in a day, but to lose fat you have to USE more calories than you CONSUME. End of story. I mean, there MAY be ways to trick your body into using more calories, but in general it's calories in vs. calories out. Bummer.... haha

So that's all I'm going to do this week is try to make sure my calories out exceed my calories in. Like a good friend of mine said when I asked her HOW she lost so much weight recently. She said, "I put down the fork."

So clear, concise and simple! And so unbelievably HARD to do. So, this week I'm putting down the fork and getting off the couch.

Start and End Weight

Week 4 - Calorie Counting Stating Weight: 190.4

Week 4 - Calorie Counting Ending Weight: 188 (Down 2.4 lbs)


So Far this week I haven't been perfect. I ate 1560 calories on the 22nd. On the 23rd I ate 1804 calories. So far today (it's only 10:24 AM here) I have eaten 100 calories.

The wonderful thing about counting calories is that you can really eat whatever you like. It might be the only thing you get to eat that day, but you can eat it if you want. Calorie counting is kind of like money management. If I have a 100 dollars I can use it slowly for the week, or I can buy something fun the first day and not have a dime left for the rest of the week. Same thing with calories. I can splurge and eat something high cal and be hungry the rest of the day, or I can spread it out and eat many low cal items.

Unfortunately I tend to be the kind that blows my money all at once on something fun and then digs through the change at the end of the week to get a can of soda. And I tend to be that way in dieting too. :) I think I need to become a better planner! Oh well, I'm determined to be UNDER 1500 today! I don't want to run up my charge card and have to pay for my extra calorie spending by being too fat for my jeans!


The counting calories diet went very well. I was more conscious of what I ate, and it kind of made me prioritize my eating. Thoughts crossed my mind like, "If I eat this candy bar now, then I won't be able to eat much for dinner tonight." and "Is this quarter pounder and fries really worth almost an entire days worth of calories?"

That's what calorie counting does to you, it helps you to be a smarter eater. You tend to eat healthier simply because you want to eat more, and the more unhealthy it is, the greater the calorie density, the less you get to eat.

I really got to test the idea that you burn calories faster when your temp is higher. I currently have the influenza bug that's going around. I just slept for 20 hours and I have a fever of 103. So I should be a calorie burning machine right now. I weighed in this morning at 188. I don't have any vomiting so this should be simple weight loss and not dehydration. Although I might be a little dehydrated after 20 hours of sleeping.

So I do declare calorie counting a success. However, calorie counting is time consuming and although I know it works and I can do it for longer than a week, I do get sick of it after awhile. A few months is about the longest I've ever lasted. I don't like doing a math assignment every time I eat (So if I eat one cup of a ten cup casserole with the following ingredients each of them at this amount.... I have to add up the calories of all the individual ingredients. Determine the calorie count of the entire pan and then divide it by the portion I take.) Yeah, it's okay with prepackaged stuff, but cooking at home can be very time consuming to count calories. I find the website to be very helpful in this process, but still not entirely convenient.

I HOPE to get the diet of the week up today, but with how I'm feeling, I'm not sure I will. So I will tell you what it is. It's the Perfect Health Diet. This diet looks very promising as far as making one feel better. Wonder if it can get rid of this flu? :)


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    • Carolyn Arnim profile image

      Carolyn Arnim 5 years ago

      I am loving your posts and you have a great group of followers as well! I signed up on HUB just to keep track of your progress, you are doing a great job!!! Can't wait to hear about all the diets to come. I agree with a previous comment, this would make a great book!

    • profile image

      Kathryn B. 5 years ago

      What an idea! I've enjoyed following your posts & everyone's comments! So have you had to struggle with boredom yet? Do you think you'll also try the low carb, high protein diet?

    • ct92 profile image

      5 years ago from Denmark

      Wow, you are doing really good! Thanks for sharing, it is nice to read your thoughts on it all

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 5 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      It really would be great as a book! I would buy it, too. It's a very interesting concept. But of course turning it into a book would be a lot of work.

      It's awful that you got sick. That is not fun. I hope you feel better now.

      I actually started the week off calorie counting, and lasted about 2 days. It did make me more aware of how much I was eating, and it prevented me from nibbling here and there. But it definitely is time-consuming!

    • profile image

      Rachel Andersen 5 years ago

      Just found your blog. Tomorrow I'm going to start doing what you're doing. I wish I'd discovered this a few weeks ago! : )

    • profile image

      Bjcushing 5 years ago

      So... Did you eat the quarter pounder and fries? :-)

    • theweeklydietplan profile image

      theweeklydietplan 5 years ago

      Thank you Kathryn! This week went really well, but I guess only time will tell if my 2.4 lb weight loss is from the flu or from calorie counting. :)

      pnchy99 - Well, it turns out that writing about dieting is more difficult, which is not what I had anticipated! I'm just so busy with the kids and work and everything else going on in my life, that finding the time to update and post the new diet of the week has been more difficult than I imagined!

      Thank you for the compliments and wouldn't that be something if it was turned into a book? Haha.

      Everyone - Thank you so much for reading and sharing your experiences. I ABSOLUTELY love reading all of your adventures. I do read ever single one, even though I don't get the change to respond to all of them. Reading all of your comments makes me feel like I'm not alone in this weight loss adventure which gives me the strength to keep going. Keep the comments coming!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 5 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I'm excited to hear your update for this past week's diet. How'd it go?

    • profile image

      ponchy99 5 years ago

      So what is more difficult, dieting or writing about dieting? You are really gifted in writing about your experiences. If this becomes a book, I will definitely buy one. Good Work, and hope you continue losing weight.

    • profile image

      JazzyJune 5 years ago

      I have been able to lose weight by simply counting calories; in fact, now that I think about it, I have been most successful with that method. I lost 25 lbs a couple of years ago doing that, but I also combined it with exercise. I was up to 5 miles a day 5 days a week. No doubt that helped!

      It does give you the freedom to eat whatever you want. The only downside I can see to it is that you are never forced to eat really good foods, so if you're trying to develop better eating habits it might be better to try something that restricts you to certain foods.

      I will say that I generally did eat better while counting calories, mainly because I found that I got more food for my calories that way! But if I really wanted to indulge in something decadent, I did so.

      I would also "save" calories, much like the WW method of saving up points. That way if I knew I had something special to go to I could eat more and not feel so guilty.

      It's a tried and true method that works for a lot of people.

    • profile image

      Mariont 5 years ago

      Hi, I love reading your posts and find it awesome for you to do this venture and share with us.

      I just started the 8 hour diet and thought it would be easy to do, but I struggle to wait to eat breakfast by 10:00. I used to eat no later than 8:00 Am, but it's my 3rd day and I am determined to stick with it.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 5 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      BJCushing, losing 5 lb is pretty good for not being able to exercise! Good luck.

    • marsersada profile image

      marsersada 5 years ago from Concord, California

      There are a lot of web sites that can help you out if you are counting calories. I have used in the past and it has really helped with tracking calories, as well as excersize. You can load on your smart phone or use it on a regular computer. It is a great tool to use, and it is free!!!

    • profile image

      BJCushing 5 years ago

      During the first two weeks of the 8 hour diet, I have lost 5 pounds. I can't exercise, however, due to foot surgery.

    • profile image

      Michelle2115 5 years ago

      Your science about what an actual calorie is was very interesting. I love reading your blog and am looking forward to reading it for the rest of the year. you are doing great, keep up the hard work. :)

    • profile image

      Qwerty 5 years ago

      BJcushing-how much did you lose?

    • profile image

      BJCushing 5 years ago

      I love reading about your diet adventures. I started with the 8 hour diet and have decided to remain with it for a whole. Keep up the great work!!!

    • profile image

      Aussiemumof2girls 5 years ago

      Good luck. Counting calories always works for me so hopefully it works for you to. I am loving all these blogs as unfortunately I am a bit diet obsessed. Thinking I might join you this week and get back to basics with calorie counting

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 5 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      It's a relatively simple diet, but I like that you explained the whole concept of calories. That was very informative. Again, good luck with losing weight! I look forward to seeing how it goes.