Many people get carried away by the latest diet fads and trends when dieting, instead of learning how count calories properly.
You don’t have to completely avoid buying the latest bars, ready-made meals and shakes to lose weight either. All you need to know is how to properly analyze your daily intake of calories, based on your daily required amounts.
In the following article I am going to tell you everything you need to know about watching your calorie intake, as well as give you some great tips which will not only make you healthier, but save you money too! You only need two things to succeed, a good attitude and some effort on your part. So how many calories should I eat?
Counting Calories Is Not As Hard As You Think!
When it comes to diet and weight loss, people will try to sell you anything. Avoid people trying to sell you new fast loss pills, new ‘revolutionary’ diet programs or special fat loss secrets nobody knows. In the end, weight loss is all about two things:
1) The amount of calories you eat on a daily basis
2) The amount of activity (exercise) you do to burn calories on a daily basis.
Under certain circumstances which may have to do with age, extreme weight or sickness, specialized programs may be needed, but only under the supervision of a medical specialist.
The First Thing You Need To Understand- How To Read Labels!
If you live in the United States then all food you purchase in a supermarket or elsewhere will come with a label regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These labels contain the basis ingredients list of the food you purchase and they are an important weapon in a dieter’s arsenal against unwanted calories.
With these labels you can see how the amount of calories any given item has, as well as the amount of sugar, protein, sodium, fat, vitamins and some others. Although it may sometimes be very straightforward, there are some things you should keep a close eye out for.
What You Should Look For In Labels
Calories- Obviously this is going to be one of your most important considerations when buying a certain food item. If you want to lose weight then you have to watch your calorie intake, it is that simple. However, when looking at the amount of calories in any food item be careful to look at the serving size. This is where many get confused! If you buy a packet of biscuits which have 200 calories per biscuit, but you eat the whole pack of 10 biscuits, then you have consumed 2000 calories in one sitting. Unless you are someone like Michael Phelps who burns thousands of calories a day, then this is a big NO NO.
Fat- Some people run the minute they see an item that contains fat, however what they don’t realize is that fat is an important part of a healthy diet. Eat fat in moderation, especially good fats, like the ones found in fish. Make yourself a good guideline of how much fat you should be eating per day and try to stick with it!
Carbs- Carbohydrates are another thing people try to avoid eating, however it is also extremely important for your everyday diet and you should eat a certain amount daily. When eating carbs, look for the ones which are whole-wheat. They will give you energy and keep you full, which is especially important when dieting because you have to avoid snacking as much as possible. According to many expert nutritionists, the most healthy diets are ones which are 50% carbohydrate based.
How To Count Calories-A Special Tip
Before you start on any strict calorie diet I would recommend you purchase two things. Firstly, buy yourself a good kitchen scale for making measurements. You will need one handy any time you prepare a meal if you are serious about counting your calorie intake. Secondly, keep a notebook with a list of the foods you normally eat, as well as the calories in them. Some things, for example vegetables, may not come with nutritional information, however you can reliable calorie, vitamin etc. numbers for them online. I recommend this.
Give Yourself A Cheat Food
I always suggest that people give themselves a certain food which they can use to cheat with once or sometimes twice a week. I like chocolate, so every Sunday afternoon I treat myself to a bar. Although you want to avoid these foods, it is also important to keep yourself sane. Slow and steady always wins the race, don’t go to the extreme and end up burning out.
Knowledge Is Power!
If you really want to be successful at losing weight and staying healthy, then you have to know what you are doing. I have written some good detailed articles which should get you started:
- How To Lose Weight In A Week
- How Many Calories Should I Eat A Day
- 1500 Calorie Diet Plan
- Filling Low Calorie Foods
- List of low calorie foods
Although my articles are a good start, if you want more detail and a better guide then you need to buy a program. Although finding one may seem easy, there is so much rubbish out there that it can be hard to find something good. I have done a detailed review on a program I like here. It is inexpensive and it works really well for people looking to lose weight and become more healthy.