Studies suggest that if you are trying to diet and don’t track your calories, you probably should. Let’s face it, you probably consume way more calories than you think you do, and this might be what is preventing you from losing that extra weight. The trouble is that even when you work out, you still need to track your calories to ensure that you drop pounds and see the results. Even when you’re working to make a lifestyle change that ensures you eat healthy for the rest of your life, counting your calories can help you to stay on track – these tips can help you to get started:
- Start by setting a calorie goal. Many nutritionists recommend that you try to consume about 1,200 calories if you’re a woman that wants to lose about one pound a day. That also comes out to a reduction of about 500 calories each day.
- Begin to track the calories you’re consuming by using one of the many calorie counting smart phone apps or websites that are available. They are free, and can be quite fun to use. Many of them consider how active you are and how hard you work out when they count your calories. And, since many of us don’t eat packaged foods, these calculators have many meals pre-programmed, so you don’t have to give up just because you don’t know how many calories something has.
- Add exercise. A good mix of cardio and strength exercise is your best bet, but if you add nothing else, and want to lose weight, adding cardio will help you to burn more calories overall. Adding strength is helpful because muscle burns more calories than fat, and it makes you look leaner.
- Become familiar with what foods will help you to feel satisfied, without the empty calories. Fresh produce has remarkably few calories, but adding it into your meals offers a nutritional punch and can help you to feel fuller. It’s also a perfect snack because it offers a satisfying crunch without the added salt or sugars that many packaged foods contain.
- Keep your foods simple. When you’re counting calories, the simpler your foods are the more likely it is that you’re enjoying a healthy snack. Look for minimal packaging to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your food choices.
- Don’t be surprised at how many calories certain foods have. You might not realize that you’re eating so much, but as you start planning healthy, well rounded meals and snacks, you can become familiar with portion sizes and the amount of calories that many foods have.
It’s never easy to go on a diet, and choosing to track your calories can be extremely challenging at first. Becoming aware of what you eat will help you to lose that extra weight, get healthy and feel fabulous every day, so it makes sense to give it a try.