Lifestyle Magazine

Bloggers for Health: Counting Calories

By Lisagray @juicysatsuma
This week for BFH* we’ve been asked to discuss our thoughts on counting calories. I can probably sum up my thoughts in one sentence: I find that counting calories is the best way to lose weight, but not necessarily the best way to be healthy.
*If you’re not sure what BFH is press the cute little button in my right hand bar!

The basic principle of steady, successful weight loss is that you have to “use up” more calories that you consume in a day. Any weight loss TV show I’ve watched works on this principle, programmes such as The Biggest Loser.

I’m sure most of you know that women are recommended to consume about 1500 calories a day and men 2000 calories a day. If you’re trying to lose weight you’re supposed to aim for somewhere between 1200 calories and 1600 calories per day, depending on your specific goals.
From personal experience I can tell you that trying to live off 1200 calories a day is pretty awful. The only way it’s realistically workable is if you eat, say 1600 calories a day, and then exercise off the extra 400 calories. This method has been working for me.
Returning back to my original summary, “I find that counting calories is the best way to lose weight, but not necessarily the best way to be healthy.” By that I mean, a food might be low in calories, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Jelly is a big favorite with dieters as it allows them to have a sweet, low calorie treat, but does it contain anything nutritious and enriching for your body? I’m no nutrition experts, but I very much doubt it.
The little pot of jelly below has 3 calories and the apple? Around 100 calories. So which should you eat? I’d go for the apple.

Bloggers for Health: Counting Calories

Photo from Hartleys

Bloggers for Health: Counting Calories

Photo from Wiki

If you are interested in counting calories I highly recommend the free website, My Fitness Pal. You can also download the app for you smart phone. You enter everything you’ve eaten for the day on to the site and add any exercise you’ve done and My Fitness Pal calculates your overall calorie balance for the day. I find it really enlightening when it tells you how many calories are in the things I eat. How many calories are in a slice of medium Dominos pepperoni pizza? I’ll leave you to find that out, but I’ll give you a hint….scary amounts!!So to summarise, I find that counting calories can be a really useful weight loss tool when used with a good dollop of common sense. Most of the foods which are good for us are low in calories anyway but don’t think that low calories also equals good for your health.

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