Have you ever tried counting calories to lose weight? Did you quit after a few weeks because it was too time consuming? Did you get the results you wanted? In this series, we will take a closer look at the advantages and pitfalls of calorie counting as a weight loss strategy. Let’s start with the first thing you need to know.
You need to be in an energy deficit to lose weight, that’s just simple physics. Calories (or joules) are a unit of energy and they are used to measure your intake and expenditure. If you learn how much your body burns and how many calories are in the foods you eat, you should be fine, right?
My Advice: Have a follow-up plan
Counting calories can be very helpful for those who don’t have much experience with dieting or for athletes who need to be very precise. It can also be useful for people who tried perhaps too many diets and need to get back on track. The thing about calorie counting is that it can be quite demanding. It takes time, attention, and a lot of discipline to note down every piece of food you take in. In other words, it’s not a sustainable strategy over the long-term. That’s why it is essential to have a follow-up plan. You should learn the principles of healthy eating so that you can improvise and rely on your judgement later when you transition from calorie counting to the real world.
You will learn all about the limitation of calorie counting, how to do it right, and how to set up a follow-up plan in this series. But before we start you can test how much you know about calorie counting in our quiz.
How many calories are in one gram of protein, fat, and carbohydrate?
How many calories does the tablespoon of cream in your coffee have?
It is estimated we get 10 – 20 % fewer calories from nuts than they contain.
Which one weighs more, 100 kcal of milk chocolate or 100 kcal of strawberries?
Food labels can be up to 20 % inaccurate when it comes to calorie numbers.
How many calories are in 100 g of boiled potatoes?