How To Track Calorie Consumption

Are you looking for an easier way to track your calorie consumption?  Many individuals who want to lose weight fail when they are told to count their calories.  Manual calorie counting can be a tedious task.  There are tools to help you keep track of your calorie intake minus the headache.

So what is a calorie?  In order for our bodies to perform any activity (sleeping, walking, exercising, and so on), it needs energy.  The food and beverages we ingest serve as the fuel that makes our bodies perform.  A calorie is a unit of measurement of energy in the food that we eat. Calories are found in fats, carbohydrate, proteins and sugar.  Carbohydrates and proteins contain half the qualities of fat.

Our bodies have a basal caloric requirement each day needed for it to function and keep our internal organs working properly.  Ingesting excess calories makes the body keep them in storage in the form of fat.  Calories become fats when you do not exercise or engage in calorie burning activities.

Before you start tracking your calories, find out how many calories you need each day. The U.S government’s website lists the suggested calorie requirements per group level based on age, gender and physical activity.   Online calorie tracking programs allow you to input your weight loss, gain or maintenance goals, your current weight and current level of physical activity.  Based on this information, the software will give you a recommended caloric intake per day to reach your goal.

Once you know your required number of calories, start a food diary.  This is where you write down the food or drink you take each day, including the quantity.  Check out food diary software online for a more organized way of tracking your intake.  Based on your food diary, you can manage your calorie consumption either manually or electronically.

Manual Tracking

To count your calories manually, you need a source that lists the calorie counts for different types of food.  There are many books and online sources of this information. For each food or drink ingested, write down the equivalent calorie counts in your food diary.  At the end of the day, add the total calories and compare with your caloric goal. 

Electronic Tracking

A faster way to count calories is to use an electronic calorie counter.  There are many online calorie calculators.  Some counters are free.  Others need to be purchased like Calorie King, and then downloaded to your electronic organizer.  Calorie counters help you monitor your caloric intake easily.  They have a food database, which is updated, with a list of common foods as well as foods and beverages served at various restaurants.  This way, before you take a bite of that original glazed Krispy Kreme, you’ll know how many calories it contains (approximately 200).

If your goal is to lose weight, eat more healthy foods that are low in fats.  You can also create your own diet plans for weight loss.  Any diet plan should include exercise, whether you want to lose, gain or simply maintain your weight. Just remember to consult your doctor, especially if you have health issues.

Weight maintenance or weight loss is actually simple math:  the more calories you take in compared to the calories you burn will make you gain weight.  Tracking calorie consumption is a lot easier now with the many software programs available.  So next time you are told to count your calories, don’t fret; there’s a fast and easy way to do this otherwise tedious task.


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