Good News! Counting Calories Does Work!
February 26, 2021
Good News! No – you did not just save a bundle on car insurance! But you did save yourself a whole bunch of unwanted calories! Counting calories really does work!
Why is it so important to count your calories? Why does it make a difference?
How do I keep track of them? Is it really important to add up my calories every day to lose weight?
All of these questions are so very, very important when you are just starting out on your health happiness journey to losing weight!
Why? You ask? – Here is why:
· When you eat more calories than you burn, you gain weight. Counting calories can help you eat fewer calories and lose weight.
How does your body use calories?
It starts with what you eat. Food is where your body gets the calories it needs to function. The food you eat breaks down and provides your body with the energy it needs to meet its immediate needs.
· The amount of energy your body gets after breaking down in your system depends on where they come from:
Carbs: 4 calories per gram
Protein: 4 calories per gram
Fat: 9 calories per gram
Your body uses the calories to perform basic functions, such as providing energy to your brain, kidneys, heart, lungs, and nervous system. Calories are also used for digestion and physical activity.
You need a calorie deficit to lose weight. How?
Once your body’s immediate energy needs are met, any excess energy is stored for future use. Some of it is stored in your muscles, but most will be stored as fat.
Therefore, if you eat more calories than your body needs, you will gain weight, mostly from fat.
On the other hand, if the calories you get from your diet are insufficient to cover your immediate needs, your body is forced to draw on its energy stores to compensate. This is what causes you to lose weight, mostly from your body fat.
Not all calories are created equal, however. How so?
The question of whether calories from fat, protein, and carbs are different is controversial, since it depends on how you look at it.
Just like inches and pounds, calories are a unit of measurement.
Therefore, purely in terms of weight loss, 100 calories will remain 100 calories regardless of whether they come from a banana or a donut.
You need to give yourself the healthy boost you need to lose weight and to eat healthy. Choose healthier options in calories. Having 100 calories of a banana is the much healthier choice for your body than 100 calories of a donut to lose weight! And the banana will keep you satisfied and fuller longer!
So why does counting calories work to lose weight?
Tracking your calories can help you identify which eating patterns you need to modify to successfully lose weight.
Tracking what you eat can give you an approximate baseline to work from and compare to when you’re trying to reduce the total number of calories you eat per day.
Finally, keeping track of what you eat can help you monitor your behavior. This may help keep you accountable for the daily choices you make and motivate you to continue progressing toward your goals.
Using a “free” calorie and fitness app can make this job much easier for you!
I use “my fitness pal” to keep track of my daily calories and fitness.
It is also very important to know the portion sizes that are equal to the number of calories.
How do I know the correct portion sizes?
Here is a great little chart reference for you:
source: DME Wellness
So, there you have it! Good News! Counting calories will help you lose weight!