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Counting calories – is it worth the effort?

People often mistakenly think that if you have started counting calories while eating, you have failed at everything else. This method of weight regulation is thought to be a last resort and something only desperate people do. However, thinking before you eat and counting calories has been proven to be a viable and sustainable method of losing weight, and not as desperate as it may initially seem. It requires quite a big effort and you really have to be completely dedicated to your goal, but the results are often outstanding and you can be sure that you are doing the right thing. Here’s how you can introduce counting calories into your daily routine and the ways it will change your perception of food and, ultimately, your life.

Why is counting calories even a thing?

The reason why this weight-losing method is so popular is actually quite simple – your intake of food controls your weight. Yes, genetics has a lot to do with it, as well as your metabolism and the amount of physical activity you perform every day, but it all comes down to how much you eat. Therefore, calories are the key to weight gain and loss and once you realise that, you will be much closer to your ideal figure.

That is why you need to control what your meals contain, as well as your daily level of protein, as indicated by a 2012 study. Only a careful and comprehensive look at your meals will let you know when you are taking too much and indicate that you should slow it down a bit. This is where counting calories comes into play: it has been shown that people on “a low-protein diet—about 5% of total calories—gained less weight than those on a normal- or high-protein regimen.” This is a sign that counting calories is the key.

The benefits of counting calories

First of all, you must know how many calories you need on a daily basis, which can quite easily be calculated online. I use this calorie calculator, because it comes with a detailed explanation about the importance and difference between calories and does more than simply let you punch in a bunch of random numbers. Depending on your weight, body fat percentage and the level of daily activity, you can precisely measure how many calories present an optimal number for you specifically. Moreover, you will learn how to find foods that contain less calories, but still taste good – you will master this skill over time.

When talking about the health benefits of counting calories, weight loss is not the only gain, but is the most important one. Once you achieve your ideal weight, everything will become much easier and you will start noticing that you can breathe more steadily, move with no pain and enjoy life to the fullest. However, what people usually forget is that less weight means less body fat and a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes. Ultimately, other weight-related health risks include diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and, finally, colon and endometrial cancer.

How to count calories?

Before you start counting calories, you need to determine your goal and how much you want to weigh in the end. The best way to do this is by calculating your BMI that will show you when you need to stop losing weight. After that, learn how many calories certain foods contain and then it all comes down to mathematics and good will. Stop purchasing foods rich in calories and introduce as many fruits and vegetables to your diet as possible – you can even eat low-calorie snacks, but not too often.

Your own battle

When regulating weight and counting calories, consulting a professional is always a good idea, but, in the end, it is all up to you – stick to your regime, do not go overboard and your weight will start dropping soon.

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