In this economy, I follow a budget to keep track of my spending, to keep debt from accumulating, and not to overspend. While counting calories for weight loss, instead of keeping track of money, I keep track of calories.
Calorie Counting Diet
I have been on a counting calorie diet for one month now. You can read about it in detail here, but basically I jot down everything I eat and at the end of the day I total up all the calories for that day. Calorie amounts can be found on packaging, online, or in nutrition guides. I personally use my smart phone to look up and jot down calories into a journal.
By recording the calories that I consume every day, I make more thoughtful choices during the day about what I eat.
Calorie allotment is similar to a money allowance
Imagine you were given $1500 a day to spend anyway you wanted. This is a lot of money and you would most likely put some thought into how to spend the money each day. Calorie counting is very similar: I am given 1500 calories a day and I think about how I can best “spend” those calories.
Calorie counting and weight loss
When I started my diet a month ago I started out slow by keeping my calorie intake under 1800 a day and have been able to stay around 1400-1500 calories a day without feeling hungry. I wanted to lose about ten pounds by summer at a more gradual pace and since starting my diet I have lost 3-4 pounds which is well within my goal to be ten pounds lighter by summer.
Added benefit: Calorie counting is helping me sleep better
When adding up the calories after dinner, and not wanting to add more calories, I have been passing up those sugary night snacks that not only added unwanted calories but often kept me from getting a good night’s sleep.
If you want a better night’s sleep (and who doesn’t) try calorie counting to curb night eating.
Don’t deprive yourself
While I have cut down on sugar and flour, I don’t deprive myself. If I want a cookie, I have one and record the calories in my “calorie” journal. By keeping a record, I no longer want to overeat because I want to get a good count at the end of the day. For whatever reason, it really works for me. Like a student who works to get an “A,” I try for a good count at the end of the day.
More calories are spent on some days then on others
By sticking to my calorie “budget” on most days, if I do have a party or special event, I still record the calories at the end of the day but have found myself making better choices when out then before I started the diet.
If I am over my calorie allotment from time to time, I no longer worry about it because I know the next day I will be back on track.
Exercise adds an added benefit
Since starting my diet, I have been exercising every day, if only for ten minutes. By exercising every day, I am incorporating a healthy routine into my life and feel better because of it.
I started my diet to lose about ten pounds by summer and calorie counting has led to healthy changes in my life and I am confident that I will reach my desired weight loss goals. It is good to know that calorie counting is something I can bank on.