5 Ways to Track and Count Calories
You have to count calories to lose weight, but you also have to actually record and track those calories throughout the day and keeping a running total.
Otherwise, it’s impossible to know if you’re keeping a calorie deficit.
Here a variety of ways on how to track calories:
1. Online calorie tracking – there are a ton of websites out there, much like MyFitnessPal, that allow you to track and monitor your daily calories through the web. Not only can you input the calories of a particular food item on these sites, but you can use sites like MyFitnessPal to actually tell you how many calories you just ate. It’s convenient.
2. E-mail draft – Many people keep an e-mail account open all day at work or school for that matter. It’s easy to just keep a running e-mail draft open throughout the day and just update it every time you eat something.
3. Notebook – You can just keep a notebook near you during the day to keep track of your calories. If you’re always on the run, just use a piece of paper, fold it up, and keep it in your pocket. Update it throughout the day.
4. Phone application – If you have a smart phone, you can track calories using your iPhone, Droid, etc. Just search the marketplace for your respective phones for “calorie tracker.”
5. twitter/blog/forum/etc – Track calories on a very public venue, including your blog, twitter, forum, etc. It does require some time, and constant access to the internet, but I tracked calories for for the 6 months of my weight loss journey online. It’s hard to cheat on your healthy lifestyle when you’re posting calories of everything.
Personally, I counted calories using a few of these methods, namely twitter, the blog, an e-mail a draft, and finally just a piece of notebook paper.
Do I have to keep tracking calories forever?
Yes and no. I haven’t “officially” tracked calories for months, but I always keep a running tally in my head on a daily basis. I’ve been doing it for a while though and it’s like The Matrix for me, meaning I can look at a piece of food made at home and as long as I know the ingredients, I can tell you with a margin of error of 10% its calorie content.
On the flip side, that’s something neither myself or anybody else for that matter can do at a restaurant. I can look at mashed potatoes at a restaurant and they can honestly be 200 calories or 800 calories. It just depends on the amount of potatoes, butter, milk (2%, whole, etc), etc.
Tracking calories is pretty straightforward, you just need the tools to do it and consistency. Track your calories every day and you will lose weight.
What tools do you use to track calories?