Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Discover if you need to count Calories to Lose Weight

Trying to lose weight...
you might have been advised to:
  • count every calorie
  • eat only particular foods
  • count only portions
  • keep a food diary

There are so many different notions and ideas relating to weight loss that it makes it difficult to know what to do...
how to best approach weight loss and fat burning.

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Try to follow all this advise and you could find yourself having to reference calorie charts, calculator, notepad and pens and who knows what else every time you sit down for a meal.

There are many popular diet books that suggest that calories don’t count.

Other popular programs, stress the importance of energy in versus energy out. With these programs you count various things such as point, or portions as apposed to calories.

It is difficult to constantly keep track of calories so some authors suggest counting portions as an easier alternative option. To keep it simple portions are roughly equal to the size of your clenched fist or the palm of your hand. From there each portion of protein or carbs typically contains between 100 and 150 calories.

Counting every single calorie could drive you crazy and in the long run many not be realistic for a busy lifestyle. It is one thing to count portions instead of calories – that is at least acknowledging the importance of portion control. However, it is another altogether to deny that calories matter.

Calories do count! Any diet program that tells you, "calories don't count," or you can, "eat all you want and still lose weight," is a diet you should avoid because you are being lied to. The truth is, that line is a bunch of baloney designed to make a diet sound easier to follow.

Anything that sounds like work – such as counting calories, eating less or exercising, tends to scare away potential customers! The law of calorie balance is an unbreakable law of physics: Energy in, versus energy out, dictates whether you will gain, lose or maintain your weight.

If you want to maintain a healthy weight understanding how many calories are in the foods you eat on a regular basis, and those that you eat at friends and restaurants is essential.

The law of calorie balance says that to maintain your weight, you must consume the same number of calories you burn. To gain weight, you must consume more calories than you burn. To lose weight, you must consume fewer calories than you burn.

The downfall of only counting portions is that you do not have an exact count of how many calories you're eating. Unfortunately with this method chances are that you will consume more calories than you think. In rare instances people overestimate the cars they eat which will trigger your body starvation mode and cause metabolism to slow down.

So, how do you balance practicality and realistic expectations with a nutrition program that gets results?

Here is a solution. This will provide a happy medium between strict calorie counting and guessing.
Create a menu using a spreadsheet or using nutrition software. You can even go online and use free online calorie counters as well. But if you choose to do it yourself you will start off crunching all the numbers including calories, protein, carbohydrates and fats. Once you have your daily menu, print it, stick it on your refrigerator and you now have an eating "goal" for the day, including a caloric target.

Rather than writing down every calorie one by one from every morsel of food you eat for the rest of your life, create a menu plan. A lot of cookbooks now include nutritional breakdowns, so if you use recipes from these books all the groundwork was done for you.

If you are really ambitious, keeping a nutrition journal at least one time in your life for at least 4-12 weeks is a great idea and an incredible learning experience, but all you really need to get started on the road to a better body is one good menu on paper. If you get bored eating the same thing every day, you can create multiple menus, or just exchange foods using your primary menu as a template.

Using this meal planning method, you really only need to “count calories” once when you create your menus, not every day.

The bottom line

Is it really necessary to count every calorie to burn fat and lose weight? In short, no...

but it is necessary to eat fewer calories then you burn.

Whether you count calories and eat less than you burn, or you don’t count calories and eat less than you burn, the end result is the same...
you lose weight.

Why guess and risk your chance for success. All it takes is some simple planning and you can make sure that you burn fat and lose weight.

calorie counting increases your chance of successfully losing weight.

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For more information on calories, including how to calculate precisely how many you should consume based on your age, activity and personal goals, and for even more practical, proven fat loss techniques to help you lose body fat safely, healthfully and permanently, be sure to grab your free copy now.
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