The old dieting motto “calories in, calories out” should really be applied if you want to follow a strict diet to stay beautifully fit and healthy, but you can’t do this if you don’t have any way of even roughly tracking how many calories you receive daily from your food.
There are a lot of online sites which can greatly help you by providing information concerning established or customized diet plans which focus on weight loss, proper exercise, or picking the right healthy food that are high in protein and low in calories. You can usually get such information which you can use to improve your own personal eating habits and diet for free, but making use of this information might still appear a bit difficult and daunting. What you need most of all is the will to stay on track. You will also need to monitor your daily calorie intake. You can make use of an electronic calorie counter to do the work for you, or you can do it yourself. Tracking down your calories manually can be tedious but easy. Here are a few steps to follow so you can track your calorie consumption:
- Set a baseline of foods that you eat. Include the food that makes up your regular diet, like the food that you buy weekly from a grocery store, the food you usually order when you eat outside, and even those that you eat only occasionally.
- Take note of the amount of calories which correspond with each food item. Probably a lot of the stuff that you buy from the grocery store will yield their nutrition information at the back or side of its packet or box, so you only need to jot these down in a notebook. Find out the direct amount of calories for the rest of the other items by searching for them on the web. There are also health books which can help you come up with the figures. Once you have the figures, write them down on a notebook and create an index.
- Plan a daily strategy. If you’re able to, implement a diet to follow on a daily basis. This will make it easier for you to count your calories. If you don’t have a planned daily menu, you can list down the food that you’ve eaten each day and look up the amount of calories you’ve taken in. Use the index you have prepared as reference.
If you don’t want to track these manually, then keeping an account in a site like The Daily Plate will help you keep careful track of your eating habits, weight, and the amount of calories you can burn off through exercise. The Daily Plate will give you your total calories per day, plus in-depth information of the food that you eat and different tables and charts showing your weekly consumption and recommended daily intake of items. This level of detail in tracking what you get from your food will help you find patterns in your eating habit which might explain why you lost or gained some pounds. An increase in sodium intake, for instance, might also mean an increase in your weight because of water retention, and not necessarily because you took on more fat.