The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2017-2018 report claimed that 25% of children within the age group 7 to 14 and 67% within the adult category were overweight or obese. Compared to the 1995 report, 2017 has witnessed a 12 percent increase of obese adults.
The trend has caused the public to find effective measures in controlling abnormal weight gain, and the simple method of counting calories appears to be the best and easiest. If you’re keen to start counting calories, here’s how:
Know Your Energy Requirement
Do not fall into the trap of copying others’ caloric intake. It’s a common mistake of dieters. Your energy needs depend on factors like age, sex, height, current versus ideal weight, and activity level.
Thanks to technology, you do not need to consult a physician to estimate your required caloric intake. Smart calculators are available online. As a recommendation, seek 3 different sites, compare the results, and get the average.
Find The Right Caloric Amount To Burn
Follow the golden rule in calculating for the number of calories you need to shed off. You cannot just do this randomly lest you endanger your health or fail in achieving your diet goals.
If the objective is to lose a single pound per week, fitness professionals suggest lowering caloric intake by 500 each day. If you want to lose 2 pounds weekly, then reduce your daily intake by 1000 calories.
However, doctors recommend a consumption level not lower than 1000 calories unless supervised. On average, women simply reduce their caloric consumption by 1200 and men by 1800.
Read The Label
Now, the real hard work begins – counting. Most packed foods come with nutritional labels, and this makes your job easier. However, fresh produce and meat bought from wet markets are normally not labeled.
For this reason, you need to research. Popular foods have consistent caloric value, like apples generally contain 16 calories per serving and beef have 213 calories per 3-ounce serving.
It’s impossible to commit everything to memory, hence having a handy mobile app will certainly help.
Create A Menu Plan
Creating a weekly menu plan saves dieters from impulsive indulgences and miscalculations. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with tasks and forget about the meals you’ve consumed in a day.
Writing down your consumption is a great way to resolve the miscalculation problem, this is if you prefer spontaneous over planned meals. And don’t forget, snacks also count.
One deadly mistake is to guess the portion size of your meal. It is rather risky, especially when the food item is a new addition to your menu. So keep a mini digital weighing scale ready in your kitchen.
Practice packing your lunch if possible so you familiarize the portions – a cup of cereal will suffice or a boxful of celery is this or that number of calories.
The process is only difficult at the start, and you eventually get used to weighing, counting, and planning meals. Also, find time to exercise.
Your goal after all is to achieve overall physical fitness. Just take note of the exercise intensity and add this to your caloric calculator to determine the right number of calories to lose.
Otherwise, you might not have the energy to sustain the regimen. And what good would diets do if they undermine your physical capacity.