Saturday, January 11, 2014

Counting Calories

To count calories or not?

Counting calories doesn't actually make you lose weight.  If I ate a box of Oreos every day but diligently wrote it down, I'm still going to gain weight.

For me though, tracking my calories lets me have better control over what I'm consuming.  Before I started counting calories I had no idea how much I was actually eating each day.  Counting calories also forces you to weigh/measure your food in order to get an accurate calorie count.  When I look back at my food tracking from when I started this journey, it's really quite frightening the number of calories I was eating.

Over time I have learned better portion control thanks to tracking my calories.  I use MyFitnessPal and it also allows me to see other nutrient counts for food, so if I'm aiming for a low carb week, it helps me to plan it out.  I can also put in my food for the day each morning (or even the night before) and then plan if I'm going to be eating out or doing anything special for dinner.

The nice thing about counting calories, is that it's fairly easy.  All packaged foods in Canada have the calorie count by serving printed on the label.   I find this easier than other plans where you have to do math to figure out the "points" value of each food.  And sites like MFP have a great database for fresh foods, or even allow you to enter your own recipes so that you can track things that only you make and don't have an easy nutritional listing to find.

Overall I found counting calories to be a good way to keep my eating in check and to be aware of what and how much I'm eating.

Do you count calories?  If you use MyFitnessPal, feel free to add me in.  You can find me as echaos.

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