The Master’s Guide To : Calorie Counting
Okay, so you want to start counting your calories. Maybe you have a big wedding coming up and you want to be snatched in that dress. Or perhaps it’s just time to shed that baby weight that has crept up on you since Johnny was born. Either way. I’m going to give you the no nonsense guide on how to calorie count and how to be GOOD at it.
My history with Calorie Counting started a couple of years ago when I was a senior in high school. I started to become more health conscious and wanted to lose a bit of weight and tone up. I downloaded my first calorie counting app called ‘Calorie Count,’ and learned everything I could about it. I didn’t know what a calorie was, heck I didn’t even know where to find them. So, I slowly started the process of learning about fitness and health and began to love it. I checked out books from the library, read internet articles, and even talked to fitness professionals. It was this that lead me in the direction of a fitness related career. This was the moment that I started my lifelong love of fitness.
3 Months into my calorie counting escapades, I somehow dropped 10 pounds. 10 WHOLE POUNDS! That was a big deal! I was the slimmest and sleekest that I have ever been in my whole life. I even had an outline of abs you guys. It was awesome! I was also much more confident in everything that I did. I could go to any clothing store, pick out and outfit, and not have to try it on because I know that I would look amazing in it. Have you ever felt like that? It’s indescribable. I long to get back to that place in my life where I can wear a midriff shirt and flaunt a taut tummy. But nonetheless, we are working on that now.
I maintained that weight loss for a smooth 2 years and then fell off the rails. Like COMPLETELY off the rails. Over the course of the next 4 years (to present) I have gained more than 70 pounds. Eh GAWD. This weight gain has been a combination of eating fast food for every single meal and not exercising at all. I would always use the excuse that I was busy, or didn’t have time, or was too tired. Sound familiar? But no more! It’s time to hold myself (you too) accountable for the things that I have done, and the things that I plan to do.
Now on to the good part. For whatever reason you want to start calorie counting, you can do so. I’m going to recommend more than one method that you can use to monitor your food intake and even better your health! But, first things first. We are going to need a couple materials.
SmartPhone / Computer / Tablet
Now let’s talk about the smartphone method before we even get into the notebook method (which is going to be a different post).
Apps have made life so much easier for everyone. I mentioned in a recent blog post that I am the app queen. I have apps for days on my phone. I really do have an app for every single thing. I have an app to track my menstrual cycle, to help me meditate, to help me sleep, and even an app the reads my favorite books to me (OMG I love Audible).
The smartphone method is by far the easiest way to go. It’s much more convenient because the calorie recommendations for you and your goals are already listed, multiple foods are already listed and nutritional values are already there. Let’s begin.
STEP 3: Enter Your Height / Weight / Measurement Information
STEP 4: Set Your Fitness Goal and Activity Level
See how easy those steps were? Dang. I don’t think it can get any easier than this. When you first start calorie counting, it can be a little bit intimidating. There are all these foods in the database and maybe you are embarrassed to know how much you’re eating on a daily basis. I completely understand girlfriend, but we’re here to make a change for the better. We have to take the first step in our journey even though it might be a little bit tough.
When it comes to calorie counting, you have to count everything that you consume or it just won’t work. If you plan to half-ass it, then you won’t really ever see any results. It’s an all or nothing thing, baby. Yes, that means those two m&m’s you had before the afternoon meeting need to be logged, and yes, they do count. What makes my fitness pal so easy is that it is the largest search engine for nutritional values of food. It has everything in there! Even those nachos from Doug’s Tex-Mex!
Okay, so it doesn’t have everything. Like Grandma’s apple pie, but you can add those into the app still. You can add your own foods that you make and make ‘meals.’ That way you know how many calories are in your Spaghetti Bolognese. So there is no excuse for not logging home cooked meals. Here are some tips on how to become a calorie counting master.
- Log The Food BEFORE you Eat
You don’t want to have a case of the regrets. If you log the food before you eat it, you’ll know exactly how much it’ll set you back or if you need to even eat it at all. My Fitness Pal will consistently let you know how many calories you have left for the day so let’s try not to exceed that recommendation (based on your height and weight).
- 2.. Friend Some People On The App
Nothing is as fun as doing things with other people. Including this! You can friend other people on the app and that can help keep you accountable. If you see that Rebecca logged for 7 days in a row, you might be a little bit more motivated to log your calories as well.
- 3. Don’t Drink Your Calories
From personal experience. You all know I would never lie to you. I’m doing all of this to help you on your merry way to weight loss happiness. Do NOT drink your calories. The fastest way to reach your calorie limit for the day is to drink your calories. What do I mean by that? I mean don’t drink soda, alcohol or milkshakes every single day, multiple times a day. Want a can of pop with dinner? Okay, your choice. Just know that can of pop has 250 calories in it.
- 4. Don’t Beat Yourself Up If You Exceed Your Calorie Goal
It happens. Shit happens. You go out with friends to the fabled Doug’s Tex-Mex and eat the Nacho Bell Grande, and it’s delicious. It’s so delicious because is 1600 calories. Oh no! You have chipotle that morning before and now you’re at 3500 calories (1 pound). Don’t beat yourself up or stop working towards your goal. Take a deep breath, refresh and start again tomorrow. We will always have moments of strife and struggle. But, it’s the moments that we get back up that count.
- 5. Take A Deep Breath
A lot of people don’t like calorie counting because they feel as though it can become a tad bit…obsessive. They feel as though that have to log everything and if they don’t there will be a consequence. Take a deep breath, my dear. If you don’t log for 7 days, it’s okay. There is no consequence. Do it for you, but don’t do it out of fear of weight gain. Soon you will know how to maintain your weight without the app. That’s the ultimate goal.
The next step in the calorie counting guide is the notebook method! Some of you all like to write things down rather than logging it into an app and that’s purrfectly fine! Look out for that blog post next! Let me know in the comments below, do you calorie count? What’s your experience with it? Peace and Love ♡