Part II: Counting calories
Now, this is where a lot of people go wrong. They seem to think that losing weight is something difficult, something that can only be achieved by either starving themselves or going on ridiculous fad-diets, diets that include them eating nothing but spinach soup all day everyday, or even diets where you are only supposed to eat a limited amount of fruit each day.
SUCH DIETS ARE EXTREMELY UNHEALTHY. NOT ONLY DO YOU HARM YOUR BODY BY SERIOUS MALNUTRITION AND A LACK OF PROTEIN AND VITAMINS, YOU WILL ALSO MOST LIKELY GIVE UP AFTER THE FIRST WEEK AND THEN COMPLETELY LOSE ALL HOPE FOR YOUR WEIGHT LOSS.
Trust me. I speak from experience. I learned the hard way, that the only way to effectively and efficiently lose those extra pounds is by counting calories. Maybe you've heard about this method, maybe you haven't. This is why I'm going to explain the basics for you now. It's actually quite simple and logical.
The theory is as follows: Your body burns x amount of calories each day, depending on how physical active you are. There are more factors playing in here, but I'm not going to go into details about that. What you need to know, is that:
- When your calorie intake is lower than your daily usage, you will lose weight. No exceptions.
- When your calorie intake is higher than your daily usage, you will gain weight. Still no exceptions.
To do this, you must first find your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). There are a number of calculators out there, here is one of them http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/
Basically, your BMR is the amount of calories your body will use if you stayed in bed all day. First you find out what your BMR is, then you subtract 500 calories.
For example: My BMR is at 2000 calories. If I want to lose weight, I will take that number, subtract 500, and then I got the amount of calories I should be taking in, which would be 1500 (2000-500).
How do you know how many calories there are in certain foods?
Personally, I have always loved cooking, and I almost never eat out. This makes it easy for me to control what I'm eating, and how much of it I'm eating. Most foods will have the amount of calories written on the package, some won't. What you can do, is that you can find an online calorie counter to help you. As with the BMR calculators, there are a bunch of websites out there willing to help you.
Here is one of my favorites: http://caloriecount.about.com/
The last thing I want to mention today is your meals. Divide your meals into 5-6 per day, with low calorie snacks in between. This will help keep up your energy levels, make your body digest the food better, and make you feel full. It is not critically important what you eat, but I recommend you to base your diet on a variation of lean meats, vegetables, and fruit. Doing this you will make sure that you get the right amount of vitamins and you will feel that you have more energy to get through the day.