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What You Should Know About Counting Calories

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Millions of people lose weight by counting every single calorie that they eat. If you’re trying to slim down and want to do this for yourself, it might be difficult to know where to start. For example, how many calories should you eat? Or, how many calories are too many? There is a lot of confusion surrounding calorie counts, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Find Your BMR

Your basic metabolic rate is something you need to find in order to determine how many calories you need to simply exist. You can easily find this number by using online calculators, which are free and will do all the math for you. The information you will need to provide includes age, gender, height, and weight. Your basic metabolic rate is the basic amount of calories you need to lay in bed all day and do absolutely nothing. Generally, you should never eat under this amount of calories if you want to avoid feeling tired and lethargic.

Find Your AMR

Your active metabolic rate is the number of calories you need to get everything done during the day, including exercise and errands. Online calculators will give you this number, but you will need to give information about how much you exercise, how active you are and your weight. After you have your active metabolic rate you will have a starting point that will determine how many calories you need to eat in order to lose weight.

Creating a Deficit

You need to cut 3,500 calories in order to lose 1 pound. Most people find it easy to cut 500 calories per day, which equates to one pound lost per week. If you want to lose two pounds per week then you will need to cut 7,000 calories throughout the week, either by exercising or eating less.

Let’s say you want to lose 1 pound per week and your AMR is 2,200. By exercising 250 calories and cutting out 250 calories from your diet a day, you will cut that 1 pound within seven days. You could also just cut 500 calories or exercise 500 calories without adjusting your calories at all if you would like. The way you create a deficit is completely up to you!

Keeping Track

It’s extremely important to count your calories when you eat throughout the day. You can do this by writing down what you eat or keeping track through an app on your smartphone. Not only should you count the calories from big meals, you also need to count calories you consume through snacks. Eat a spoonful of peanut butter? Yes, that needs to be counted!

In addition to this, counting the calories you burn will ensure you’re on top of your calorie counts and your deficit. Although it is a lot of work, it gets easier with time. The best part about counting calories is that you get to be in control of what you eat and when you eat it. As long as you are always aware of what is going in and what is going out you will be able to target your weight loss and set appropriate goals.

A Day of Counting Calories 

Breakfast

– Coffee or Tea (no sugar and no milk/cream) – 0 calories
– 1 egg and 1 egg white – 90 calories
– 1 low carb wrap – 90 calories
– Low-calorie fruit cup – 50 calories
Enjoy the eggs cooked any way you would like and put them into the wrap with pepper and hot sauce if desired. This breakfast will only be around 230 calories and will keep you full for a while.

Snack

– 1 serving low-calorie chips (Veggie Straws, Special K) – 150 calories or less
OR
– 1 medium apple with 1 tablespoon peanut butter – 172 calories
OR
– 1 mini bag of popcorn (DON’T add butter) – 100 calories

Lunch

– Veggie burger in a lettuce wrap with salad or a small bag of chips – 300 calories
OR
– Chicken pita with vegetables and low-calorie dressing – 375 calories
OR
– Salmon Salad with low-calorie dressing – 275 calories

Mid-Day Snack

– Yogurt (low sugar and naturally flavored) – 100 calories to 150 calories
OR
– Thin pretzels (one serving) – 120 calories
OR
– Sliced strawberries and blueberries – 150 calories

Dinner

– Spinach burgers with steamed mixed vegetables – 400 calories
OR
– Crustless egg white quiche with vegetables – 250 calories
OR
– Homemade chicken stir-fry – 380 calories

Dessert *Optional*

– Low-calorie ice cream (Skinny Cow, Weight Watchers) – 100-150 calories
OR
– Frozen yogurt (one serving) – 130 calories
OR
– Banana with peanut butter – 200 calories

When you eat each day it’s important to count calories for each and every meal that you have. If you make things at home you should count calories in every single ingredient, including sauces and oils. Divide portion sizes so that you are accurate with how many calories you eat and make sure you don’t forget to record every single thing that you consume.

You get to make the choices of what you eat for each of the different meals. This means that if you want to eat something high in calories for dessert, you will be able to eat less all throughout the day. Just remember that you should end up with a certain number of calories at the end of the day. Also, keep in mind that there are a lot of food exchanges you can make to save calories. For example, etc.ng a low-calorie wrap in the morning instead of a big tortilla can save you roughly 200 calories

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