To achieve success in controlling your caloric intake it is vital to keep track of the calories you consume on a daily basis. Calorie counting is the easiest way to take charge of your calorie intake to ensure that you are taking in the appropriate amount of calories—relative to your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)—to lose weight.
Getting good at reading nutrition labels is a great health-conscious habit to pick up to empower yourself with the confidence to make smarter, more informed decisions on what to eat. As you get better at reading labels you will also get better at making healthier, lower calorie selections when you dine out. To make things easier, many restaurants now include a section in their menu that includes the nutrition facts for their meals and fast food restaurants usually have nutritional guides available upon request.
If you’re not sure how many calories something has CLICK HERE.
Another great health-conscious habit is recording in a journal what you consume on a daily basis. This will assist you in keeping track of your calories and also hold you accountable for the selections that you make. When recording your calorie intake try not to focus on calculating the exact number of calories in each meal. Instead, focus on getting a quick estimate so you have a general idea of how many you are taking in. The difference between 400 and 450 calories is not going to make or break your day—knowing the difference between 400 and 1000 calories can.
To lose off 1lb of body fat your body needs to burn 3500 calories. A reasonable, realistic and healthy weight loss goal is 1lb a week. This would require you to be in a -500 daily caloric balance throughout the course of a week.
- -500 a day X 7 days a week= -3500 calories a week or 1lb of fat per week
For example, if your TDEE is 2500 calories then you want to take in 2000 calories per day over the course of a week. Avoid taking in less than 80% of your TDEE. Taking in in too few calories can cause your metabolism—your body’s calorie-burning engine—to slow down to conserve energy which is counterproductive towards weight loss.
Once you have determined how many calories you should be taking in on a daily basis you can then create a meal plan that works for you and your schedule.