Counting calories, this is probably one of the biggest factors to losing or gaining weight. I’ve gotten into the best shape of my life not when eating healthy foods every day, but when keeping track of my calorie intake. Many tend to over think it but it’s really a simple formula. If you’ve been around the fitness industry long enough you’ve probably heard it before. In order to lose weight, we have to be in a calorie deficit. In contrast, we have to be in a calorie surplus to gain weight.
How do we count calories?
In simplest terms, just look at the nutrition label for the type of food you’re eating and keep a journal of everything you eat. In today’s age, it’s must easier to keep track of everything thanks to apps such as Myfitnesspal (most popular used by Apple and ios). But say you don’t have a smart phone for whatever reason (not bashing on anyone), you’d just have to do it manually. There are going to be many times where there is no nutrition label and this is where things could get a little complicated. But don’t worry, it’s not that hard once you figure it out.
I’m not going to go into much details about this topic, rather I will just link to a macronutrient guide that I recommend if you’re interested in learning more.
Basically, your macronutrients are your fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Each with their own calorie density. They are:
- 1g Fat = 9 calories
- 1g Carbohydrate = 4 calories
- 1g Protein = 4 calories
In order to find out how many grams are in what you’re eating, you will either need a scale or use your best guess. As a general rule, a piece of chicken the size of a baseball is roughly 3oz. Once you have your estimated number simply Google something like “how much calorie is in 3oz chicken” etc. It can be hard to remember all the conversions but once you do it often enough you can start doing everything in your head.
This next part is crucial. You need to know exactly how many calories your body needs to burn a day in order to lose weight.
I will go over this in my next post. If you’d like to learn more know now, contact our fitness instructors.