If you’re researching ways to lose weight by counting calories, you have undoubtedly stumbled upon hundreds of articles talking about this. This is because counting calories is one of the most effective ways to lose weight. Dr. Peter Hinz and the team here at Cool Spring Chiropractic recommend the people of Franklin, Tennessee pair a healthy diet with exercise. Here’s all you need to know about calorie counting.
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What Is A Calorie?
Before understanding why counting calories can help you save weight, it’s important to understand what a calorie is. A calorie is a measure of energy, normally used to measure the energy content of foods and beverages. A dietary calorie is defined as the amount of energy that is required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree celsius.
You use the calories that you eat and drink for essential functions such as breathing and thinking, as well as day-to-day activities such as walking, talking, and eating. Any excess calories your body consumes will be stored as fat; this is why consistently eating more than you burn will cause weight gain over time.
Why is it Important to Count Calories?
In many trending diets, you may hear self-proclaimed pundits talk about how little calories matter when building a new diet. However, when it comes to your weight, the number of calories you eat does count. This is something that has been proven in scientific studies and research time and time again.
Many of these studies often ask people to deliberately overeat and subsequently measure the impact of their weight and their health. In nearly all these studies, the more calories people consume, the more weight they gain. It’s a simple fact that counting calories and limiting your intake can help you lose weight and keep weight off for the long haul.
How Many Calories Should You Eat?
The most complicated part about counting your calories to lose weight is determining how many calories you should eat. The base-level recommended calorie intake per day is around 2,000 for adults. However, your gender, age, weight, and activity level will all have a huge impact on how many calories you should eat on a daily basis.
For example, a 20-year-old athlete will need to eat far more calories than a 65-year-old grandma who doesn’t work out. There are some online resources available to you to help you determine how many calories you should be eating on a daily basis. If you are wanting to lose weight, you will want to create a calorie deficit by eating less than your body burns off.
Weighing and Measuring Your Food
One of the biggest issues facing the United States right now is obesity and one of the biggest contributing factors is portion control. It’s not uncommon for someone to eat double or even triple what the average person is supposed to eat in one sitting. If you are serious about counting your calories, you will need to weigh and measure your food until you’re experienced enough to eye-test everything. Here are some of the ways you can measure your food:
- Scales – The most accurate way to determine how much you’re eating is to weigh your food. However, this can be time-consuming and isn’t always practical
- Measuring cups – You can use measuring cups to measure your food. This method can be easier than using a scale
- Comparisons – Using comparisons to common items is quick and easy, especially if you’re away from home. However, it’s also much less accurate
It’s important to note that calorie counting isn’t an exact science even though you may be weighing and measuring your food. You won’t have to be absolutely spot-on with your measurements but you should try to record your intake as accurately as you can. The foods that are high in fat or sugar should be the ones you should be most careful about.
What You Eat Still Matters
Unfortunately, many people believe that as long as they create a calorie deficit it doesn’t matter what they eat. While there have been some studies that point to the fact that you can create a calorie deficit while only eating Twinkies and still lose weight, it is not recommended. What you put into your body still matters regardless of the number of calories you are eating.
Eating 100 calories worth of leafy greens or fruits will impact your body differently than eating 100 calories worth of potato chips and candy. Additionally, the effects of different foods on hunger, appetite hormones, and the number of calories you burn can vary considerably. If you’re truly focused on losing weight, you should build a diet around high-quality foods from plants or animals that have been minimally processed.
Dieting can be difficult; counting your calories can be difficult. Here are five more tips that can help you on your journey:
- Get a calorie counting app or online tool to help you with your journey
- Read the food labels – Food labels will contain plenty of usual information for calorie counting
- Fight any temptation – We know it can be difficult to turn down the potato chips in your pantry or the ice cream in your freezer. The best way to fight these temptations is by getting rid of the junk food in your house
- Aim for slow and steady weight loss – We know that it’s only natural to expect immediate results when losing weight. However, aiming for a more slow and steady weight loss will help establish consistency and is less likely to lead to burn out
- Exercise – It’s best to pair a healthy diet with regular exercise. Eating healthy can help provide you with enough energy to regularly exercise
Aim for slow and steady weight loss, and make sure you have a plan. Reading food labels and keeping less junk food in the house can also be helpful for success.
Are you suffering from back pain, sports injury, or an accident? Did you know Chiropractic can possibly help treat these injuries?
Get in touch with Dr. Peter Hinz at Cool Springs Chiropractic today for a FREE consultation.