Updated: Mar 1
Calories are all that count. 5 Reasons you should start tracking calories today.
Calorie counting. Is it good? Bad? Does it matter? We’re going to help demystify what calorie counting is all about so you can put your calories to work for YOU.
Here are five great reasons why you should be counting your calories.
1. Caloric intake vs caloric deficit
I’M NOT A SCIENTIST, MAN! That’s ok, let’s break it down. Caloric intake just refers to how many calories you eat. If you weigh the exact same amount this week that you did last week, it means that you are consistent in the amount of calories you ate (and you didn’t burn any extra).
A caloric deficit happens when you eat less than the amount you normally do OR you eat the same and burn calories working out.
2. You don’t realize how many calories are in your food.
One pound equals about 3,500 calories. In the simplest terms, if you eat 500 less calories every day (or burn 500 calories) it’s estimated that you’ll lose about a pound a week. It might sound tough, but check this out – If you get the Big Mac meal at McDonalds (medium fries, medium coke) you rack up 1080 calories! Swap the coke for a diet, swap the fries for a side salad, and you’re down to 700 calories. No cheese is another 50 calories off… OR swap the Big Mac for an Artisan Grilled Chicken sandwich w/ no mayo and the whole meal drops under 500 calories. Bam. Weight loss at McDonalds.
3. You don’t know your carb/fat/protein ratio
There are a lot of fad diets that recommend things like no carbs, high-fat, only green foods, yada yada yada. For a balanced diet (according to sciende), 40% of your calories should come from carbs, 30% from protein, and 30% from healthy fats. Tools like MyFitnessPal can make this painfully easy to keep track of.
4. It helps you read the labels
As I’m sure you know, there’s a lot more to nutrition than simply counting calories. But when you start counting calories, you start checking out all of the other things that you are putting in your body as well. For instance, remember that Artisan Chicken sandwich from earlier? It has 9 grams of sugar and over 1000 mg of salt. Which is a lot.
5. Technology makes it simple
Forget keeping a notebook with you and trying to calculate all of this by hand. Here are a few ways you can keep track right from your phone:
ii. Weight Watchers
Sum it up
Try this for three days. 72 hours is not that crazy. Keep track of everything you eat and you might be very surprised!