Should I Count Calories?

I get asked all the time about counting calories. Many wonder if it is a useful tool. Usually, my answer is no. The whole point of eating foods with low calorie densities is to avoid counting calories. If you mainly eat foods with low calorie densities you should lose weight especially if you also exercise. Low calorie density foods fill you up with less calories. Remember though, the only way to lose weight is to eat less calories than you burn off. Sometimes though, people will tell me that the weight will not come off. No matter what they do, they cannot lose weight. At this point I do recommend counting calories. I generally find that people are taking in more calories than they think they are. Everything that you put in your mouth needs to be counted. Serving sizes need to be followed closely. That bite of cake needs to be included. All drinks should be included. Furthermore, it is also important to get a good idea of your daily calorie requirements. How many calories are you burning on a daily basis? Get a pedometer to measure your daily steps and activity level. Many people think they are burning many more calories than they really are. Calorie counting can be an excellent exercise to get a good idea of what your overall energy status is – are you positive or negative over time? You need to be honest with yourself. Monitor yourself for at least a few weeks to get a good idea of your overall trends. Be very careful when eating out. Ask restaurants for calories counts for your meals, again remembering to look closely at serving sizes and adjusting as needed. Once you have this information, adjustments to your diet and lifestyle can be made. Reduce your daily calorie intake. Increase your intake of low calorie dense foods. Increase your fiber intake. Increase your exercise levels. Weight loss is absolutely possible. Be patient. Never give up!