Ideally, calorie counting is a technique that exists to make your life easy. But many find this exercise to be tedious and sometimes, a complication.These 9 hacks will help you make calorie counting much easier, helping you reduce your calorie intake and giving you results that you would want to see.
Traditional calorie counting techniques can sometimes be time-consuming, uninteresting and very disheartening. This is not always the case though. Calorie counting does not have to all of these negative adjectives, and done right, can help us solve our nutrition issues to a great deal.
If you have not done this before because of how complicated and time-consuming it seems, these hacks will help you see that’s not exactly the case. Make your life easier and healthier with minimal hassle by following these tips!
Don’t make drastic changes to your eating habits
Fitness, as a whole requires a total lifestyle change, but when it comes to getting the right nutrition to stay fit, the starting point should be at where you are right now. Make your own simple daily meal plan considering what you already eat and don’t think too much about calories yet. The daily goals set by fitness apps and calculators, BMR and TDEE calculations etc are all irrelevant at this point.
Keep in mind that we are going through a shortcut. Include the normal amount of food you need to keep going during the day. If you feel like you need to make any changes, change the quality of food such as ditching sugar and junk food and adding more whole foods to your meal.
Let an App help you!
You don’t have to go through the process of writing your daily food intake with the help of an App. There are many apps out there that can help you by calculating your calories, as well as helping you make your own meals using the app so that you get an overall calorie count.
Activity trackers will also help you see the calories you take in vs the calories you take out. These are not accurate to the point, but will help you get a fairly correct idea about your calorie situation.
Be sure to be honest and log everything!
Identify Obvious Patterns
Every person who has gone on a meal plan has at one point or another, cheated. But we fail to see how these little “cheats” affect the overall result of the meal plan. These will mean that you take in more calories than you planned, or the quality of your food are compromised.
Doubling your calorie intake is something that can happen quite easily if you are not careful. You can keep better track of this via a calorie counter than a food journal. If it seems as if your calorie intake is going up, look around for low cal alternatives to satisfy your cravings.
There will always be days where you just cant stick to your food plan. Outings with friends and celebrations are custom-made to test your resolve. Keep an eye out and be vigilant about your food intake in situations like this.
If your current intake is not keeping you full and satisfied, complement it with some proteins and healthy fats that will easily satisfy you.
Establish Your Baseline, Then Adjust
Once you check your calorie intake for a few days, you will see a pattern with a generic range emerge. This is your baseline.
If this current plan is something your comfortable with, not making you too hungry and hasn’t made any changes to your body, you have come close to reaching the base level of calories your body needs to function. You can now experiment with calorie reduction.
If you feel like its important to reduce the calorie intake further, try going for smaller portion sizes. change your food items such as oils, dairy, buts and grains to less calorie dense alternatives. If you are always hungry then you might not be eating enough to keep you going. Increase your baseline and try having an additional meal a day.
This is a good point to start setting yourself daily calorie targets. Go above or below your baseline in calorie intake and see how that works out.
Build Around A Few Core Meals
Having a fancy meal and then analyzing each ingredient to count the calories is a tedious job. Instead, try to set up your diet around a few key meals that can be easily tracked and prepared in a way that will give you a transparent view of the calories. It will also help you reduce your calorie calculations.
This does not mean that you will have to eat the same thing everyday, but a basic idea about the standard food you take and their calories will definitely help.
You can also try eating the same thing daily for a bit. It might sound horrible, but it will make your life easier in terms of counting calories.
But dont over do it. Healthy lifestyles are there to help you live better, and is not about deprivation. So if a dark chocolate slice will help you get through, go for it.
Get Familiar With Pre-Portioned Foods
Pre packaged food can help save your life, and your time, if you are someone who is not too in to cooking. This does not apply to single serve chip bags, but to health food that are separately packaged.
It does cost a bit more to buy individually packed food instead of bulk food, but the perks of it includes the facts that the nutritional values are included in the packing of these food. This will help you to a great deal when you are counting your calories.
When it gets easier to track your calories, you can opt to making your own food. But at this moment, we are just looking at choices that will make your life easier.
Have Your Staple Meals Pre-Loaded In Your App
If you have a few regular items you take as meals, pre load them to your app. Once the regulars are loaded and saved in your app, a simple click will auto fill your meal for you. The its just a matter of adding the add-ons to the standard meal to get the calorie count.
Some aspects of your regular meals might change over time, but the basic data on your food will remain largely the same and will help you identify the calories by just looking at the food after some time, which will help you in your eating decisions.
Don’t Just Focus On Calories
Calories are not the only means to weight loss. It plays a significant role, but to be truly effective, there are other measures you need to take as well. Increased fiber intake will make you feel more full, along with an increase in your water intake, while you eat the same amount of calories.
Once the calories are conquered, look at small changes you can do to reduce the calories. Chuck out high calorie items such as carbs and nuts from your meal and replace them with low cal alternatives.
This step by step change can help you see how a small change can help your or hurt you, and is a pretty easy way as opposed to a drastic change in your lifestyle.
Finish The Job And Move On
Now that you have a standard template for meals that helps you improve your body composition, try to understand the points that actually made this change. Use these points to create a long-term meal template for yourself, which will help you be a whiz at prepping your portions. At one point, you wont even need to count your calories.
You read that right – you wont need to count the calories. Once you are comfortable accessing your food by just looking at it, a occational calorie count will be enough to tell you that you are on track.
One way to look at this is that what you learn by understanding the numbers is way better than what the number say.
Calorie Counting : 9 ways to make your life much much easier
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