When you hear the words calorie counting, you may assume that the aim of the game is to try and lose weight by drastically reducing the number of calories you consume per day. The truth is that counting calories isn’t always a means of restricting what you eat and putting tough portion control measures into action. Often, when people try and lose weight, they cut out all kinds of foods and try and survive on very little. This can actually do more harm than good, so it’s really important to ensure that you’re eating enough.
How many calories do you actually need?
If you do a bit of research on calorie counting, you’ll come across average intakes of around 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men. The trouble with recommended intakes is that they are based on the average person. If you’re trying to lose weight, you may want to decrease the number slightly, but you’ll also need to take your activity levels into account. If you’re hitting the gym hard or you have a job that involves a lot of movement or heavy lifting, you shouldn’t cut calories or resort to options like an appetite suppressant. To function normally, your body needs energy, and your diet provides it with fuel. If you’re not eating enough, you’re going to struggle to get through your day at work or your workout, and you may find it more difficult to stick to your diet plan because you’re tired and weak.
If you do want to lose weight, counting calories can be a useful tool, but try and personalize your diet to make sure that your body gets what it needs. If you’re used to consuming 2,000 calories per day, but you want to shift a few pounds, don’t halve your intake. Take it down by 200-300 calories, and keep your activity levels the same if you exercise frequently. If you’re stepping up your training, you won’t need to adjust your calorie intake. Use a food diary app to help you keep track of what you’re eating. This will give you accurate nutritional information on a daily basis.
Eating the right foods
Losing weight isn’t always about how much you eat. What you eat is also really important. If you’re looking at calories, for example, you’ll notice a huge difference between portion sizes and calorific value. If you indulge in a burger and fries with a side of onion rings, this meal is going to take up most of your daily allowance. If you have a balanced breakfast of eggs and wholegrain toast, a salad with lean meat for lunch, and a healthy dinner consisting of salmon, vegetables, and brown rice, you can eat much more without going over your recommended calorie intake. It’s beneficial to find a balance between feeling full and enjoying your meals and getting results on the scale.
Many people pay more attention to calories when they’re trying to lose weight, but this often results in short-term losses that are achieved by reducing calorie intake drastically. In the long-term, you can achieve sustainable weight loss by designing a healthy, balanced diet that gives your body the fuel it needs.