For those who are starting to eat healthy in order to lose weight and get in shape, one advantageous question to answer is how to count calories effectively. One of the main reasons why it is difficult to monitor your calorie intake to lose weight is the time and energy it can take.
Truth be told, it is a bit time consuming to hand write down each and every thing you eat in any given day, and then look up how many calories are in each item. Only the truly dedicated generally stick with this routine past the two week mark, and that’s quite understandable. Not many of us have an extra hour a day to spend writing and looking up the various calorie amounts for different foods.
In addition to that, in the past, if you wanted to keep track of all the calories you ate during the day, you had two options. Either carry a food journal around with you and write down each and everything you ate, or wait until you got home to jot everything down and hope that you did not forget or omit something you ate. Again, very time consuming and to continue doing this day in and day out, it’s no wonder why most people who are enthused to start keeping a food journal, the excitement and energy does not last and their efforts are soon lost.
Learning How to Count Calories Effectively Can Really Help Boost Your Weight Loss Efforts
But I’m happy to say that the answer to the question how to count calories has definitely become easier when you put the Internet or your smartphone to work for you. Not only can you now find a number of websites from your Internet connected laptop or home computer that make it easy to track your calories, but there are even applications (apps) that you can download directly to your smartphone and start using right away. This can one of the best options especially since your phone is usually with you at all times which is ideal since many of us eat out regularly so it’s simple to input the date when you are out. Even better, most of these calorie tracking websites and apps are 100% free! There are no one-time fees or monthly charges to incur so that’s a huge benefit and another reason why you should start using one of these options and not worry about how to count calories any longer.
Once I learned that these calorie counting applications and websites were free, that gave me more than enough incentive to look into what they can actually provide. Since I have an iphone, all I did was search in the AppStore for the words “calorie tracker”, and a number of different results popped up. I counted more than ten that were all free providing some type of calorie counting service. In the end, my calorie counter that I decided to go with was the MyFitnessPal app based on the fact that it has been thoroughly reviewed most with 5 stars, received numerous awards, and they have over 1.1 million different food items in their database. And since I did not want to have to spend any time trying to track down how many calories are in regular food items, this was the way to go. If I could do everything from one application, then perfect.
I also found that you can access MyFitnessPal from their online website, which is also free. So even if you do not have a phone able to keep this application with you at-hand, you can create a free account and wherever you have internet access you can simply log-in and input the foods you ate for that particular day. The only downside to this fact is that you need to keep a good record, or have a good memory, to remember all the things you ate since your last login.
Now you might be thinking “Oh it’s not that hard to remember what I had for breakfast and lunch!”. Granted it generally isn’t, but in order to keep an accurate count of everything you ate, you need to think of even the smallest things you may have put into your mouth. The can of soda at break time. The 5 small chocolate Hershey kisses you ate at your desk. The creamers and sugars you put in your coffee this morning at breakfast. The snickers bar you ate after lunch. All those things that can easily slip the mind need to be tallied up so that you get a close to perfect calorie count for that day.
How to Count Calories Through The Use Of A FREE Calorie Counting Tool
For instance, just those four different items I just mentioned as examples total 590 calories! Those snacks and treats really add up quickly which is why it’s so important to keep an accurate track of everything. Again, just another benefit of having a phone capable of running applications because whenever you are finished eating something, you can simply whip it out of your pocket, click on the app, and add it and you’re done.
Using either the desktop or mobile version of MyFitnessPal once you create a free account and enter your physical information, you will find as you are entering your information, the calories are automatically tabulated and subtracted from your daily calorie limit. So you have a remaining balance of calories that you have for the rest of the day. When you input food meal by meal, it really helps keep you in check. If you find yourself eating a large lunch on a particular day leaving your with only 500 calories remaining for the rest of the day, then you know that you need to try and eat a lighter dinner so that you do not go over your daily amount. If you go over, the green numbers turn red reminding you Uh Oh, you went over your amount.
This makes the calorie counting process much easier for you to maintain regularly and also helps provide you with motivation to help you keep your healthy eating efforts on track in hopes that you meet your weight loss goals.
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