Counting calories is back in fashion, fitness wise. It’s come and gone over the years, so I figured it was a good idea to let you know the good, the bad and the ugly.
But, let’s first look at the benefits.
Counting calories can help you to lose weight. It’s that simple.
But, the first rule is that you can’t make something out of nothing. So if weight loss or fat loss is your aim then being accurate about what you’re eating is important.
After all you can’t figure out what you do or which direction to take until you’ve figure out where you are right now.
If you don’t know what you’re eating then how do you know if you need to increase or decrease the amount of calories you consume?
Accuracy is important
It’s not just about the meals that you eat, but those little extras too. Yes, a squirt (no matter how small) of ketchup, brown sauce or mayo adds up to a lot of calories over the days and weeks during the month, especially if you have it with more than one of your meals.
A side benefit of counting your calories is that it makes you aware of just what you’re eating: providing you with a clear indication over if you’re eating too many or not enough.
Tracking Calories Makes Sense
When it comes to tracking calories, you have a lot of choices these days. A popular one is my fitness pal, however, at MastersPT we use My Pt Hub as it links with our clients, so that when they log their food their trainer is notified. This means we can support them more.
What’s more is that many other calorie apps are now self-populating, which means that if you enter a food on the app then your friend can use the info you’ve added on that food.
Regardless of whether it’s correct or not.
So be careful when logging and make sure it’s accurate.
This doesn’t happen with My PT Hub, as the app is monitored to prevent that from happening.
However, lots of people find the logging of their food a hassle and tedious.
If you’re like that then simply monitoring your calories by looking at the nutritional information might be a better option.
However, as this option takes less time it usually meets with less success, as it’s less accurate and less consistent and there’s no log of your weekly total.
Your weekly total is what you should be far more concerned about when it comes to tracking nutrition.
Let’s Take An Example
Imagine the situation: you’re on a diet and trying to be good. Your normal calorie burn is 2,000 so you set your target for calories at 1,750.
Fri 2,250 (it’s Fridyay!)
Sat 3,000 (it’s pizza night and you’ve been good all week; you deserve a break)
Sun 2,000 (feel like rubbish)
Your weekly total is in a surplus. Then you stand on the scales and you can’t understand how you’ve managed to gain weight despite being good for four days.
Well, you were okay for one and bad for two of those days.
You now feel depressed because you haven’t lost any weight, but in your head you should have lost weight as you’ve been really good and you’d been to the gym.
The solution is to track your food and count your calories.