When it comes down to it, losing weight is really a simple matter of subtraction. By subtracting the number of calories you are eating from the number of calories you are burning, you can determine if you will lose weight or gain weight. For example, eating 3,000 calories in a day when you burn 2,000 calories will leave you 1000 calories on the plus side, which means gaining weight. However, if you eat 1,500 calories and burn 2,000, you will end up 500 in the negative and be losing weight.
Counting calories used to be a lot of work which is why a lot of people had trouble losing weight and then keeping it off permanently when using calorie-counting systems. However, today you can find a number of different types of calorie-counting devices from watches to smart phone apps that make looking up foods and counting calories quick and easy. You can also keep track of the calories you are burning on many of these devices. Many sports watches in particular will give you information about how many calories you burn throughout the day.
How to Use Calorie Counters
To use calorie counters to lose weight, spend a few days doing normal activities while you track how many calories you burn to figure out how many calories you need to eat. It’s best to consume about 500 calories less than how many you’re burning to see weight loss. Be careful that you do eat enough to remain healthy, though.
Once you have your baseline, you can start using the calorie counter to count the number of calories you eat in a day. Again, take a couple days just to track what you normally eat to help you figure out which areas you are consuming a lot of calories, and then begin to cut back on portion size or replace calorie-rich foods with lighter alternatives. For example, trade in your afternoon bag of chips worth around 220 calories for a handful of baby carrots worth just 30 calories.
Calorie counters are a great way to help you take all the guesswork out of choosing foods, and give you clear goals that you can work toward with both increasing the amount of calories you are using and decreasing the amount of calories you are taking in. As you begin to make healthy lifestyle changes, you may eventually no longer need to count calories so carefully, but using calorie counters is a great way to start your weight loss and to keep that weight off.