The Importance of Calorie Counting
When on a weight loss journey, it’s easy to be misled in terms of advice and action. Some people assume that running an hour a day, 7 days a week on a treadmill with no real goal and no sustainable meal plan in place will drop the pounds like a sack of spuds. This isn’t true. Some people assume that lifting heavy weights is the best way to burn calories which means you can eat whatever you want because you’re lifting heavy weights. Also, not true. If weight loss is your goal then what you eat is going to be the success/ downfall of this goal. First of all to lose weight you have to be in a calorie deficit. What this means is that you must burn more calories than you consume in a day. Most of us probably consume more calories than we need without realising it, the best way to track this is to count your calories with everything you eat. You’ll be amazed at how much you’re actually consuming in comparison to how much you’re burning. The best way to track your calorie intake is to download the “my fitness pal” app, scan each of your foods (or type in the amount you’re eating) and it will give you a full break down of how many of each macros are in that food. Now with this in motion you can see for yourself how many calories are in each meal, and it will also help you make better food choices. On average during exercise you’ll burn up to 300 calories, if you’re really hauling yourself it can be up to 400. So with this in mind use the app to track how many calories you’ll be consuming post workout. If you look at the macros you’ll see that foods containing more fat will be more calorie dense. These are foods not to avoid completely, but are foods to definitely cut back on.
A few tips for your home cooking to bring down the calories:
Use little or no oils for cooking
Olive oil and coconut oil are both extremely dense in calories and a table spoon of each can add up to a whopping 120 calories. These are calories that can easily be avoided. If you still want to use oil in your cooking then we’d recommend the 1cal spray which can be bought in all supermarkets. The convenience of this is you know how many calories you are using each time you cook.
Stick to lean protein such as white meat and fish
White meat and white fish contain little calories but more than enough protein to see your body repair itself after a session. The perfect protein to consume for weight loss. They are both very versatile proteins too, so there’s no end to the creativity of different meals you can make the list is endless.
Don’t eliminate carbs
People often have this idea that carbs are the enemy when trying to lose weight. Most carbs are actually fairly low in calories, for example a cup of cooked rice (a good portion for one) will have around 200 calories in it. Which really isn’t that much considering the amount. If you did cut carbs out completely then you will start to have huge cravings for calorie dense food as your glucose levels will be very low.
Drink water with every meal
Drinking water with every meal and throughout the day will help you stay fuller for longer and help digest food properly. Another bonus about water is it has a grand total of 0 calories. Water will keep you hydrated and more focused throughout the day, aim to drink 2l of water a day to aid your weight loss goals and have a glass with each meal. Especially breakfast. Think of water as oil to an engine, it just helps things along smoothly. Making you a more productive person and even giving you a little boost during workouts.