To count calories or not is the question you battle every time you want to lose weight. Of course, you have little voices in your head – and on your social media pages – telling you that the key to weight loss is actually some crazy new trend. Pseudo fitness experts think losing weight is a matter of cutting out practically everything you enjoy on a daily basis – bread, milk, meat, fruit. Who cuts out fruit? Perhaps the problem here is that people focus so much on “losing weight” that they forget about health. Counting calories can be healthy. Calorie deficits are not. Check out the 5 benefits of counting calories for a healthy body.
5 Reasons for Counting Calories
Refocus your efforts and start counting for better a happy, healthy body.
1. You make better choices
When you keep a keep journal or track your meals on your smartphone, you make better choices. You become accountable to yourself, and you can track your progress better. Within the first couple days of tracking your meals and their calories, you will be shocked.
There is no more fooling yourself about how much you are or are not consuming when you write it down. Journaling and logging your food choices leads to making better choices. It is better to eat a healthy and filling salad than to waste your calories first thing in the morning on a donut in the coffee line.
2. You learn how many you can actually consume
Have you wondered how many calories you can actually eat? Here’s a hint: it’s not what everyone thinks. Your ideal calorie intake depends on a number of factors: activity level, age, weight, body type, and macronutrient percentages. Calculate your recommended calorie goal. Once you see how much you can actually consumer, you will begin to reassess what goes in and what should be left out. If you are counting calories, count them correctly for your needs.
3. You eat smaller portions
Calorie control is not so much about restricting your diet as it is about eating the right amount of good foods. It’s not easy to eat healthy all the time, but portion control is possible when good eating is not. Counting calories helps you eat the right amount of better foods.
Pay attention to serving sizes on food labels, carry a portion chart with you in your wallet or purse, and learn how to visualize what a healthy portion looks like. Healthy portions and calories are easier when you limit processed foods and take-out. Again, when you log your food and calories, you will be inspired to limit your portion sizes, and you will eat different foods on the menus at your favorite restaurants.
4. Visualizing is energizing
Most of the benefits lists come down to one key factor for success – visualizing. When you see, you really see it. You see your goals, you see your food, you see the calories, and you begin to consciously make better decisions. When your calorie intake is in your face, reality sets in. There is no running from it. If you are honest with yourself and your food journal, success will follow if you take the cues to make healthier decisions about your calories.
5. It’s free
Yes, it’s free to count calories. No, you don’t need to sign up for an expensive weight-loss plan, you don’t need a 300-page book, and you don’t need a monthly subscription. You need an app, you need nutrition labels, and you need to count everything that goes in.
Don’t Ignore These Calories
Finally, don’t ignore all of the calories you consume. You only cheat yourself. Every calorie counts when counting calories. Many people tend to leave out extra calories from the following:
- Condiments and dressings
- Coffee creamer
- Dried fruits and nuts
- Butter and spreads
- Shredded and grated cheese
- Whipped cream
- Beer, wine, and other alcoholic drinks
When you learn how to count your own calories, you won’t need to rely on expensive plans that promise big results when you can actually do it yourself. If you use an app to track your calories, choose one that allows you to scan nutrition labels. Be honest with yourself, eat the right portions, and make small calorie swaps every day to cut out hundreds of calories without starving yourself.
Nutrition is the first step to a wholesome life. When you are committed to your nutrition, you can be 100% dedicated to all other aspects of your best life – sleeping well, training, controlling stress and anxiety, and time management. Discover the ways a trainer at COR can help you achieve your wholesome life.