Calorie Counting. Typically when I heard this, I thought of a very grueling process that would lend to me thinking far too much about what I was eating. I knew from experience. It was always followed by me being hyper-focused on food, seeing numbers instead of food, and becoming more and more competitive with myself. (I can eat 200 less calories today, right??) After about 48 hours, I would give up, go eat a brownie, and not record it.
I realized recently though, that calorie counting doesn’t have to be like that. After 1 week straight of calorie counting, I’ve come up with 3 ways to make calorie counting carefree, while maintaining sanity and happiness. 🙂
- Stick it out. The first day of calorie counting is more strenuous than the following. As much as I feel like I am eating a wide variety of foods, I tend to eat similar foods day-in and day-out. As a result, after Day 1, counting calories is much more simple! You start to memorize which foods you eat and what they represent.
- Use Myfitnesspal. This my friends, is a great app. I cannot talk it up enough. Among many other wonderful things, it allows you to scan bar codes on food labels, giving you the exact amount of calories, serving sizes, nutrients, etc… It also gives you detailed summaries of the nutrients you are getting (macro and micro), so that in future days you can make more educated food choices. Did I mention that you can track your daily exercise, as well? It does. It seems fairly accurate. But for the most part, I love how easy and simple it is.
Let the app do it’s magic, then forget the rest. With Myfitnesspal, you can program in certain goals (i.e. lose 1 lb./week). It will then calculate how many calories you should eat each day based on your fitness goal. This is my favorite part. If I feel like I would like to lose a little bit of weight, I don’t have to think about it all the time. As long as I stick to my daily calorie goal, I will most likely get into better shape! Also, I don’t have the constant worry that I was accidentally overeating. I know what I am eating, and I can have the peace that I am eating a balanced diet.
Honestly, calorie counting has become an educational journey. I do not know how long I will continue doing it. But, I think the greatest aspect has been that I know what I am eating, instead of fretting because I may have eaten to much. At least if I know, I can make intelligent decisions in the future. And that is really my goal! I want to enjoy foods, but I also want to have a well-rounded diet that fuels my body with the energy I need to chase my kiddo all day long.
What has been your experience with calorie counting? I would love to hear your tips, advice, or ideas!