Following the holidays, a pregnancy or simply a sedentary lifestyle, the extra pounds have settled in and you need to get rid of them. Determining how many calories you should be consuming daily and monitoring your intake throughout the day are effective ways to lose weight. Counting calories is not a diet in itself, but it will help you consume the correct number of calories, depending on your height, weight and level of physical activity.
Part 1 of 2: Determine Your MB and Recommended Daily Allowance
Step 1. Seek advice from a healthcare practitioner before starting to change your eating or exercise habits
It is not worth compromising your health with a drastic diet. For most people, healthy weight loss is 500g or 1kg per week.
Step 2. Use Free Online MB Calculators to Uncover the Secret to Weight Loss
MB stands for "basic metabolism": the number of calories burned when you are at rest and doing absolutely nothing.
Many health-related websites offer calorie calculators that determine how many calories you need to consume each day to maintain your current weight. Enter variables such as your weight, height, age, gender and frequency of exercise and the calculator will determine the right number of calories for you
Step 3. If you don't want to use MB calculators on the Internet, do the math yourself
Here's how to calculate your MB. The calculation is different for men and women.
- For women:
655, 1 + (9, 6 x weight in kg) + (1, 9 x height in cm) - (4, 7 x age in years)
- For men:
66.5 + (13.8 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) - (5.8 x age in years)
- What does the result mean? It is the number of calories you would burn if you were in bed all day and doing absolutely nothing.
Step 4. Take your daily exercise level into account against your MB
Do this calculation to find out how many calories to consume per day to maintain your weight. Take your MB, multiply it by the number shown below, and add that to your MB to find out how many calories you can consume per day to maintain your current weight. This is called the Recommended Daily Allowance.
- For no activity at all, multiply your MB by 20% (i.e. MB x 0, 20! Not 20!)
- For light activity, multiply your MB by 30%.
- For moderate activity, multiply your MB by 40%.
- For a strong activity, multiply your BM by 50%.
- For strenuous activity, multiply your MB by 60%.
Step 5. Understand how weight loss and gain works
Any calories you consume over and above your recommended daily allowance will cause you to gain weight, while consuming fewer calories than recommended will cause you to lose weight. One kilogram corresponds to 7,000 calories. So if you eat 7,000 more calories than you burn in a day, you will gain a kilogram. If you burn 7,000 more calories than you consume in a day, you will lose a pound.
For example, let's say your MB is 1790. Let's also say that you are moderately active, which means you exercise 3 times a week. 1790 x 0.40 = 716. Add 716 to 1,790 to get 2,506. So you need to stay below 2,506 calories per day to lose weight. Any calories consumed above 2506 will cause you to gain weight
Step 6. Cut 500 calories per day to lose 500g in a week
500g is 3,500 calories, so reducing your intake by 500 calories per day is equivalent to losing 500g per week. It is easier to decide what to eat when you have set your allowable calorie limit in advance.
If your recommended daily allowance is around 2,500, reduce your intake to 2,000. This will allow you to lose that 500g per week
Part 2 of 2: counting calories
Step 1. Plan meals that contain the right number of calories
You are probably very busy and it is so easy to eat whatever comes your way or to go to the fast food restaurant around the corner to order something good. Rather, to resist junk food, plan what you will eat each day. To help you do this, do your shopping ahead of time for a few days or a week.
At first, this exercise will be difficult, because you will not yet know how to estimate the caloric content of each food. After a few weeks of training, you should become a calorie calculator
Step 2. Choose healthy foods
Healthy foods might not be the tastiest, but they tend to have a lot fewer calories, which means you can eat more of them. Unhealthy foods tend to contain more calories: A large McDonald's coke has over 300 calories, as does a cheeseburger. That's a lot of calories for a drink. Prefer the following foods.
- Lean and white proteins (chicken fillet, fish, tofu) rather than red and fatty meat.
- Fresh and colorful vegetables and fruits rather than dried fruits and vegetables.
- Whole grains (wholemeal rice, wholemeal bread) rather than processed cereals (white rice, white bread).
- Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats rather than saturated and trans fats.
- Omega-3 fatty acids, such as flax seeds, cod liver oil, and salmon.
- Nuts, seeds and grains rather than sweets and candies.
Step 3. Drink lots of water
Water is essential for the health of your organs. In addition, the water is absolutely zero calorie. It's like stealing calories every time you drink because your body burns calories by digesting water and food. If you really want to lose weight, drink water and stay away from sugary drinks, such as energy drinks, sodas, and juices. You can, however, drink unsweetened green tea.
Step 4. Check the calorie content of each food you buy
Whether it's bread, cookies or frozen meals, check the number of calories per serving and choose the product that has the fewest.
- If you are still young, accompany your parents when they go shopping. You will have a good time together and will be able to choose healthy and nutritious foods for yourself, based on the diet information that you can understand.
- Pay attention to the portion sizes. If a package says it contains 4 servings, then divide the entire contents of the package into 4 equal parts. Each share equals one serving.
Step 5. Check the calories on health food websites
Not all foods come in a package that displays their calorie count, but there are many websites that will tell you the calorie content of almost every food. Just make sure that after looking for the caloric content of a 100g piece of fish, you don't eat more.
Step 6. Take out your measuring instruments to make exact portions
This way you will know exactly how much cream you put in your coffee or cheese in your omelet.
Step 7. Write down everything you eat and drink and keep track of the number of calories per food
You can use an Excel computer file to make this easier. Write down what you eat (even if it's just on a piece of paper), then enter that information into your spreadsheet at the end of the day. Then add up the calories. Keeping track of this information keeps you motivated, but it's also useful for knowing the calorie intake of certain foods that you eat regularly.
One of the benefits of keeping a journal is that it will help you remember the healthy meals you enjoyed. Write it down in your journal and you'll be less likely to forget that grilled asparagus with quinoa is delicious
Step 8. Expect it to get easier
At first, when you don't know how many calories are in food, counting calories takes a lot of time and research, which can be frustrating. But once you automatically know that an apple has 70 calories and your favorite granola bar has 90 calories, it all gets easier.
Step 9. Obtain a manual counter
You can get it for less than 1 euro on auction sites. Increase the count every time you eat something (it is more convenient to click for every 10 calories consumed).
Alternatively, many smartphone apps can search for the caloric value of a food and also calculate how many calories you need to consume per day to lose weight
Step 10. Be patient
Don't expect to lose weight overnight. Often, even the best-intentioned people get discouraged just before the results are visible. If they continued their efforts just a little longer, they would have started to see a difference. So stick to your schedule, believe it, and be patient. Do it for yourself.
- If you are making a recipe that does not indicate the number of calories in the dish, you can estimate it yourself by looking at the package for each ingredient.
- Find low-calorie recipes online and view nutritional information at your favorite restaurants so you know what to order.
- Remember to factor in the calories of the drinks. Drink water and low-calorie drinks so you don't waste calories on something that won't keep you full.
- When comparing the calories on packages of two different brands, make sure the portion sizes are the same.