4 Steps To Lose Weight and Save Money
written by Matt Goldstein from medicalpublications.org
Counting Calories To Lose Weight
Don’t Count It Out
Calories play an important part in weight management. Find out how counting calories may be the easiest, cheapest and most successful weight loss program you have ever tried.
There are many fad diets that promise that avoiding carbs or eating their packaged meals is the secret to weight loss. Many of these fad diets work, because they are simply forcing you to eat less calories, that is, until you get off their program. No matter what diet you try, weight management comes down to the calories you take in versus how many you burn off.
Calories are the fuel for your body
Without calories, our bodies cannot function. Calories are the energy in our food that fuel everything we do. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins all contain calories and are the main energy sources for your body.
No matter where the calories come from, everything you eat is either converted to physical energy or stored as fat. If you eat less calories than your body requires, then the fat you have stored becomes your body’s make-up food – which forces weight loss. This is why exercising accelerates the process. Exercising requires more calories so your body is forced to eat its own fat faster!
Counting Calories – Steps
To Effectively Lose Weight
Counting Calories Step 1: Calculate How Many Calories You Should Eat
Ideally, you should lose 1-2 pounds per week. This is the safest and most maintainable way to keep the pounds off. If you lose large amounts of weight per week, this may be exciting and good for that reunion you have coming up, but in the long run, you will probably gain it all back. Counting calories is not a quick fix, but it is one of the most effective and most maintainable ways to lose weight. The best part is, you can eat whatever you want (in moderation).
Use this calculator below to calculate how many calories you should eat each day to reach your desired goal. Be realistic with your goals.
Counting Calories Calculator
Instructions: Select your gender and enter your age, height and weight.
Next enter your body fat percentage (optional), choose your daily activity level, and enter the number of pounds you wish to lose or gain.
Finally, enter the number of days, weeks, months, or years you would like to achieve your weight loss goal by, then click the “Calculate Calories Needed for Goal Weight” button.
After you hit calculate, the screen will refresh. Scroll back down to this calculator to read your results
Step 2: Counting Calories
Before you sit down for a meal, calculate how many calories are in the meal you are about to eat. This is not as hard or time consuming as it used to be.
Every packaged food, has the calories listed on the packaging and most restaurants have their nutrition information (calories) listed on their websites now.
And if you are cooking and can’t find the calories on the package, then you can usually look up fresh ingredients online at sites like:
or you can just type in google, as an example: calories in a tomato and you will quickly find your answer.
Sure this all takes some work, but nothing good comes easy.
Counting Calories Step 3: Keep track of your calories
This is important, because if you know how many calories you have left for the day, it helps you to make good decisions.
It also lets you know when you can reward yourself.
If you are like me, you get snacky at night, so I reserve about 200 calories for a nighttime snack. (Usually ice cream)
Counting Calories Step 4: Exercise is optional but definitely helps
I am going to give you a short story from my experience to explain this one.
When my wife had our son, she put on some weight and I put on about 30+ pounds at the same time. Sympathy eating at it’s best. Well, a year later she was still heavier than she wanted to be and we decided to try counting calories together.
Unlike me, my wife actually enjoys exercise but she also likes to eat.
So she would figure out how many calories she was supposed to eat in a day to lose weight and she would eat that many calories. But then if she wanted to eat extra, or she was really wanting a treat, she would exercise first and how ever many calories she burned, she could eat that many more calories of whatever she wanted. (Usually Dove Chocolate) Note: To calculate calories burned during a workout, you can purchase a heart rate monitor.
I, on the other hand, hate exercise and just said, I will eat less calories. ( I still had my treats, but I just ate less calories throughout the day.)
And at the end of our diet, she lost her desired 15 pounds, and I lost my desired 26 pounds. (From time to time if our weight is creeping up, we always go back to this system.)
Both systems work, but exercise will help you to burn more calories faster.
It is really quite simple: if you eat more calories than you burn, you gain weight, and vice versa.
Counting Calories – Tips
- Eat foods that are filling but low in calories – like vegetables and proteins. Carbohydrates are high in calories, but taste good. You do not need to eliminate these, just calculate them into your calories for the day.
- Use high calorie, low nutrient foods – like cake, cookies, chocolate, etc. as a treat. (If you eat these high calorie items first, you will find that you are out of calories and are still hungry.)
- Drink a lot of water – Often people mistake being hungry for actually needing water. You should be drinking about 8 – 8 ounce glasses of water per day. This will fill you up and can lower your body fat.This will probably surprise you, but being dehydrated can make you gain weight! When your body needs water, it will use all other fluids available when it’s dehydrated. By pulling water out of the bloodstream, excess glucose will remain until it reaches the liver, where it’s supposed to be stored as glycogen for later use.
- Eat smaller portions – When you are eating at home, put less on your plate. If you find that you are still hungry, first try to drink some water and wait about 10 minutes. If you are still hungry, you can always get seconds. When you go to a restaurant, cut your portion in half and have them box it up for you right away. We tend to eat what is on our plate. (Or decide what you are going to eat based on the amount of calories you have left.)
- Trade out high calorie options for low calorie options – As an example, trade out whole milk for skim milk. Or Doritos for popcorn. And fruit is always a good choice. Most fruits are 100 calories or less per serving, can be very filling and can often curb that sweet tooth.
- Find someone else that will try counting calories with you – If you can find someone to count calories with, it will be easier for both of you, as you will keep each other in check.
- Don’t get discouraged – As you get smaller, you may need to decrease the amount of calories you are eating even more or increase your exercise to continue to lose weight. But this becomes easier as your body adjusts.
Just to reiterate, losing weight really comes down to how many calories you use every day. If you eat more calories than you use, then you will gain weight.
Most diet programs are simply using predetermined calorie counting, whether it be a meal plan, or a special shake, they all rely on a lower calorie intake and usually additional exercise.
You don’t need to spend any money on these fad diets; you just need to put in a little bit of time and count calories to lose weight. In fact, you can save money by buying the same foods you normally buy, just less of them.
And if you share this article with a friend or loved one, they may just decide to do this with you, which makes it much easier and much more fun for both of you.
We have found that many of our customers that need to lose weight, also have high blood pressure. While losing weight is one factor in your high blood pressure, there are many others.
To learn more about natural ways to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol without drugs, pills or side effects, take a look around our website at medicalpublications.org