Keep Your Calories In Check | Top Tips For Tracking Calories

Keep Your Calories In Check | Top Tips For Tracking Calories

There is a lot of conflicting information about how to lose weight circulating online; for most, the process of sorting through what to trust and what to ignore can be frustrating enough that they don't ever really get started. Committing to any long term challenge, especially one that requires a heavy dose of discipline, is more-or-less impossible if you don't have full confidence that the process you are following is going to lead to the results you are looking for.

Luckily, science has agreed (for a while now!) that calories are all that matter when it comes to losing fat. You can think of calories like gasoline for your body's engine. As you move throughout your day, your body burns calories to generate the energy it needs to keep up. The calories that you burn come from food. If you are consuming fewer calories than your body is burning, you will need to make that energy difference up somewhere. It turns out that body fat is the primary energy reserve the body will tap!1

So, eating fewer calories than you are burning, consistently, will get you the results you have been chasing!

I think that many people hear this and would rather not believe it. After all, this is far from a quick fix! There is no secret ingredient you can add or subtract from your diet (cough... carbs) that will have you magically losing fat. Portion control will be the key that unlocks fat loss. Don't fret, though! You likely can eat more calories than you believe (check out a TDEE Calculator to find out), and these simple tricks will get you on the right path.2

Avoid Liquid Calories

Avoiding beverages that have high-calorie totals can be a game-changer for your diet success. Drinks like soda and beer are packed with upwards of 2-300 calories in a 16 oz serving. What's worse, these drinks will do nothing to satiate your hunger, and most will slightly dehydrate you, leaving you craving the next glass. Liquid calories can quickly get out of control and steamroll a day or even week's progress. Diet sodas with no calories are a perfect alternative!3

Load Up On Veggies First

Vegetables are an essential part of any healthy diet, whether you are trying to lose weight or not. They are packed with the nutrients that your body needs to function optimally, and the fiber they contain is necessary for maintaining proper digestion. For weight loss, they are an excellent tool, as they contain very few calories. Did you know that an entire cucumber is only 45 calories?4

Cook At Home

Restaurants are a fun and exciting way to try a wide variety of foods, not to mention they can be extremely convienent. They pose a significant problem when trying to lose weight; however, as the food served in restaurants is typically loaded with additional calories to ensure it tastes great and keeps you coming back. Having control over your meals and precisely what goes in them is imperative to the success of your diet.5

Prioritize Your Proteins 

When you are putting together your plate at meal time, the initial focus for most is to prioritize the carbohydrates that make up the "base" of the meal. This learned guidance primarily comes from the 1992 version of the USDA food pyramid, which assigned carbohydrate sources such as potatoes, grains, and bread at the base and suggested 6 to 11 daily servings.6 The problem with this is that today's carbohydrates are, on average, more calorie dense than they were in 1992, and following this advice can lead to regularly eating too many calories. Many proteins, on the other hand, are more satiating while containing less calories. Four ounces of chicken breast, for example, contains less than 200 calories and will make you feel considerably more full than 200 calories worth of bread (less than one whole bagel).78

Conclusion

The tips above are not a solve-all for losing weight, but implementing them into your food choices while you are trying to lose weight will give you an excellent baseline to start. Losing weight is all about consistency, so stick with it and don't give up! You will get better at it with practice!

[1]Calories Are Most Important For Weight Loss [2]TDEE Calculator [3]Calories In A Beer [4]Calories In A Cucumber [5]Restaurant Meals Typically Have More Calories  [6] Chicken Breast Calories [7] Bagel Calories

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