How To Count Calories 101
The easiest way to lose weight and burn fat is to know how to count calories. Ok, this is not rocket science, calories are basically energy, just as the fat stored in your belly. In order to lose weight you need to eat less than what your body uses so it takes its energy in your fat. If you eat more than what you need, your body will store the excess energy in fat.
By knowing how to count your calories you can wisely chose what you eat to get full, satisfy your nutritional needs and lose fat.
What is a calorie and how many should I eat
A calorie is the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1g of water by 1 °C. The calories we count in food are actually kilocalories (1000 calories).
In order to burn 1 pound of fat you'll need to burn 3600 calories.
So the amount of calories you need will depend on your metabolism speed and your daily activity. The more muscles you build, the more calories you burn daily.
It is said that each pound of muscle burns 70 calories/day at rest!
"Cardio is like paying off a credit card bill, strength training is like paying for a house. Both useful but only one builds an asset."
Find out about how many calories you need every day : Daily Calorie Calculator. This calculator will give you your BMR (basal metabolic rate) as well as how many calories you need to eat for your weight loss needs. You need to cut 500 to 1000 calories from your menu daily to lose 1-2 pounds.
- (500x7=3500/week, so you lose about 1 pound)
- (1000x7=7000/week so you'd lose about 2 pounds).
Nutritionists will usually tell you that it is healthy to lose 2 pounds/week. You don't want to go under 1200 calories as that could slow your metabolism down, you will feel your energy drop and re-bounce as soon as you start eating again. Plus you'll lose muscles (if you want to get skinny fat go for it but you'll re-bounce).
In order to lose weight you need to chose wisely where you take your calories from. It's really important to eat enough protein to cut your hunger and preserve your muscles in order to burn fat. Find out how many grams of proteins you need : Protein Calculator and multiply by 4 to know how many calories from protein you need.
How do I count my calories?
Most likely you'll need a food balance and measuring cups. You can find that at Walmart or any store of that kind. So here is the amount of calories in each macronutrient :
- Proteins : 4 calories per gram
- Carbohydrates : 4 calories per gram
- Fats : 9 calories per gram
- Alcohol : 7 calories per gram
An easy trick to lose weight : get ride of starch and only eat carbohydrates with a lot of fibers. Drop bread, potatoes, pasta and white rice. Keep your carbs under 100g/day and eat healthy fats.
Also make sure you have enough proteins to keep you full and preserve your muscles, not your fat!
You should have around 80% of your body mass (lb) of proteins (in g).
Exemple : if you weight 100 lb, you should have 80g of proteins per day.
I like to add a whey protein powder to my diet as it tastes good and adds proteins to my diet.
Just know that eating a lot of carbohydrates will raise your insulin level and make you hungry as fat will keep you full longer.
Now to keep track of my calories I use a calorie counter (MyNetDiary) on my phone as it allows me to scan food (they have a free version and also a website for pc). There's a lot of other apps you could chose from. If you lose more or less than 2 pounds per week you can adjust the amount of calories you eat daily.
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