The Dos and Don’ts of Counting Calories



What is a calorie?

A calorie is a unit of energy. The body requires calories to carry out its day-to-day functions smoothly which include the functions of the complex systems right up to simple tasks like buttoning your shirt every morning. Food groups such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fiber contain calories in varying amounts. Taking into account every calorie you eat and burn is essential if you want to optimize your weight loss results. A gram of protein or Carbohydrate has 4 calories, while a gram of fat has 8 calories.

calorie counter

Measuring Portion Sizes and Food Servings

You might nod your head in agreement to our suggestion of counting calories, but no sooner than you’ve started counting calories than you will realize that playing with numbers is no cakewalk. It is easy to forget those 4-digit numbers. Measuring the food you eat is a good way to count calories successfully.

  • You can use a measuring cup to measure grains, cereals as well as fluids.
  •  Butter, syrups and jams are better measured with a measuring spoon.
  • You can also invest in a kitchen scale to make measuring meal portions and servings feasible.

Foods are not only made up of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They also include other micronutrients. Nutrient label readings can help in cases where calorie counting is not as simplified. The nutrient label is printed on the food package. You should consider details such as individual serving size and the number of servings contained in a particular package.

What About When You Are Eating Out?

First things first, if your aim is to lose weight, you have no option but to cut down the number of times you dine out. And when you do, you should take the trouble to enquire about the nutritional content of each meal and serving. Restaurant meals are usually larger than regular portions and servings and are loaded with fat-derived calories. Given people’s increasing awareness of the food they eat, restaurants have started making available nutrient information for all their dishes. This information can be accessed at the restaurant. It is also posted on the restaurant website for public viewing.

Now you might be asking yourself. “Why do I need to count my calories if I already started re-wiring my brain?” It is simple…. I want you to lose weight… And not only that, but I want you to lose as much weight as you possibly can in a healthy way, so that you can get the most out of your life….

The Dos and Don’ts of Counting Calories

There are a few dos and don’ts that will help you stay accurate and at the same time make calorie counting a less tedious job.

Counting Calories

I started off with calorie counting, just to brush up your basics. Besides, understanding the importance of calorie counting and knowing how to do it, will enable you make healthier food choices and keep the weight off for good.

The truth is that even now I use a calorie calculator. It is really important to do it too. In the future, Wake Up Thinner will have a smart phone app included, and it will help you keep track. Since you already bought the program, you will get it for free. Till then, use the calculator on this website: Use it to quickly find out how many calories are in all the foods you want to eat!

Calorie Deficit

It is easy to maintain healthy weight if you know the equation that drives it. If you want to lose weight, you should either:

  • Eat less calories than you burn or;
  • Burn more calories than you eat

This deficit is known as Calorie Deficit and is an effective way to lose weight. Thus, if you want to lose 1 pound of fat in a week, you should have a calorie deficit of 3500 calories in that week, which means 500 calories per day.

Gender Differences in Metabolism

If you’ve noticed, men tend to eat more than their counterparts and yet do not put on weight easily. To add, they can lose weight faster. It is a matter of gender difference. Men and women show marked biological differences. However, there also exist differences in their size and body composition.

The resting metabolic rate in women – the total energy expenditure in activities such as breathing, digestion and blood circulation, is 5% – 10% lower that men’s. As a result, our female bodies tends to store more fat.

Health Eating – The Way To A Slimmer Figure

We often find ourselves in a real dilemma when it comes to food for weight loss. Health and fitness experts cancel out starvation and crash diets as healthy steps to trim an expanding waistline. As a matter of fact, they recommend eating a little of everything. You already learned how to eat in my other ebook, however I will teach you how to eat to accelerate your weight loss.

Protein: Nutrient Profile – 4 Calories per 1 Gram

Protein is the most essential food group when on a weight loss diet. You should double up your intake of protein to lose weight because it supports fat burning through muscle building and also staves off hunger.

  • Proteins are made of amino acids which are used to repair and maintain the cellular structure.
  • This food nutrient plays a major role in muscle growth and sustenance.
  • It keeps energy levels from dropping and can prevent exhaustion in dieters on a low-calorie diet.

There are plant and animal sources of good protein. You can choose lean beef, white meat for chicken and poultry, fish and pork as they contain a good amount of protein and a healthy amount of fat. You can eat an egg for breakfast too. I would recommend eating only the white as the yolk is high in cholesterol. Vegetarians can choose to get their protein from fruits, vegetables, nuts, cereals, beans, legumes grains and low-fat dairy products. The Diet Plan book has the exact meal plans you should follow, so don’t worry about what foods to eat.

Carbohydrates: Nutrient Profile – 4 Calories per 1 Gram

Whoever told you to cut out carbohydrates from your diet to lose weight is highly mistaken. Carbohydrates – complex carbohydrates – are known for their thermic effect and thereby act as metabolism boosters in the body. One might ask why only complex carbohydrates? Carbohydrates supply the body with nutrition in the form of sugar. The sugars present in complex carbohydrates take a longer time to be broken down as against the simple ones and hence are beneficial to the body.

Fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains are rich in complex carbs.

Fats: Nutrient Profile – 9 Calories per 1 Gram

While you may have expected to see carbohydrates and proteins on this list, I am sure not many of you expected to see fats. Fats have been blamed more than they deserve to for the entire weight gain issue.
For those unaware, there are two main types of fat – saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats contained in meat, cheese, butter are the unhealthy variety. Unsaturated fats on the other hand, are the healthy variety as they supply Omega 3 fatty acids and Omega 6 fatty acids. Unsaturated fat is contained in nuts, flaxseed, avocados, soybean oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, coconut oil and canola oil and fish varieties such as salmon, trout and herring.

When you eat fats, you should eat them in controlled quantities. Also avoid junk, packaged and fast food as they contain artificial trans-fat. Artificial trans-fat is the harbinger of weight issues and heart problems.

Water: Nutrient Profile – Zero Calories

When considering diet options, we concentrate only on food groups ignoring the weight loss potential of water. Water should be had in plenty when trying to lose weight. Why?

  • First, it keeps you hydrated.
  • Second, it flushes out toxins.
  • Third, it boosts metabolism and helps burn calories.
  • Fourth, it has no calories.
  • It also ensures smooth functioning of the body systems.

Water is a good alternative to sugary drinks and artificially prepared fruit juices. You should drink minimum 8-10 glasses of water each day. You can drink it plain or meet the body’s requirement for water by eating water-rich fruits and vegetables. Drink a glass of water before every meal.
It will curb hunger and prevent overeating at a meal. Ice-cold water is another good option. The body will first bring it to normal temperature before digesting it which means burning more calories. If you detest the bland taste of water, you can add fresh lemon juice. Have this mixture

Written by Aline Pilani

Hey, I’m Aline Pilani. I am a certified personal trainer and nutritionist. I have spent the last 10 years of my life helping people losing weight, increase their health and confidence, and I truly want to do the same for you.