Calories calories calories… those nasty little buggers are everywhere! You need them to live but excessive amounts can be deadly- at least to your figure. Many people try calorie counting websites and apps to help keep themselves in check, but don’t see it for what it really is and what it can really do.
I have a problem with this. I watch people abuse the system a lot and wish that someone had explained to them how useful of a tool it actually is. Through out this explanation I’ll be using the calorie counting website I use (because I love it), but if you have you prefer another way that’s fine too.
First and for most, calorie counting does NOT mean starving yourself. MyFitnessPal runs on net intake. If you don’t exercise and you set it on losing too much weight, you really will starve and that’s super unhealthy. Starving is quick and limited results. Not eating doesn’t necessarily just get rid of fat, your body eats muscle first. So while you look fine, you won’t really be any healthier. Plus, as soon as you re introduce food at a normal rate, you will gain that weight back. But I digress…
Before I get into the bulk of this post, I just want to say that calorie counting isn’t for everyone. I have a slow metabolism and eat when I’m bored or stressed. If your an anxious person, maybe consulting a different type of diet will help ease your mind while still watching what you eat. My Plate is the new and improved food pyramid. It also has a calorie counter but it also offers a guide to ideal portions of each food group depending on the individual. Here’s what it said for me!
You don’t even need a website, just following serving sizes and being aware of what’s going into your mouth helps so much!
Any who, MyFitnessPal helps create a daily net intake of calories based off of your high, weight, exercise level and desired weight loss and rate of loss.
Here’s my profile. Currently I weigh 129 and I want to lose 4 pounds. I have it set to losing a pound a week, but I know that this isn’t always legit. Being a woman is frustrating because we fluctuate from hormones and stress. Just try to hover around your goal weight and don’t be fixated if you gain weight a pound or even two! You can set it up to 2 pounds a week but that hardly seems healthy or possible. It’s all about the realistic goals and mini goals. I set mine to lightly active because I’m a college student on a very large campus.
Then it gives you a summary of your goal and what that requires exercising and eating right and how many time a week you want to work out.
Now that I have my goals set- it’s time for the food logging. Sometimes it seems a bit tedious. Now thats I have an iPhone this has become simpler. If you don’t like to use your phone, the online website is really easy too. It might be a good idea to get used to the website before using the app. If you have a smartphone, you can actually scan the barcode and it will usually recognize and register food. Yay for technology!
Counting calories is much more than adding and subtracting all day and worrying about it. It’s very easy to scrutinize each meal. I found a healthy balance between using my brain to help me decide what I want to eat over my stomach and most importantly portion control. I do measure food out, it’s amazing how much or little one serving is! Portion control and timing is a whole new post in itself (coming soon)!
I think another cool new feature about the app is that it also has a pie chart dividing your consumption into: protein, fat and carb (not just bread!) percentages. It changes throughout the day as you eat more food. It kinda gives you a heads up of what you should eat less of and more of. The goals vary with each person. Here’s mine:
Just remember that if you go over one day do not get upset or punish yourself the next day. 80% diet-20% indulgence. Work hard and stick to it 80% of the time so you can really enjoy a treat (its not treating or caving, its being human). No denying. If you can’t beat the craving, compromise! Tomorrow is a new day and a new beginning.
Hopefully this is helpful to you guys! Let me know if you have questions!