How to Count Calories – Counting calories can seem impossible, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you know where to look, you can find calorie information on most foods and get an idea of how many calories you consume with every meal. Plus, keeping track of your calories will help you keep tabs on your eating habits and confirm that you’re not eating too much or too little—either of which could negatively impact your health and weight loss efforts in the long run. Here are five easy ways to count calories—no calculator required.
1. Use Calorie Calculators
Using a calorie calculator is easy. Start by entering your current weight, height, age, and activity level. Then, the calculator will count how many calories you need per day to maintain your weight and how many calories you need per day for weight loss. It’s that easy. Find out how many calories are in the foods you eat by looking at the nutritional information label on the back of any food item or searching online.
2. Have a List of Go-To Meals
Another easy way to know how many calories you eat is by carefully examining your diet. Making your food, such as cooking a steak or making your salad, is the best way to know exactly what you’re putting in your body. Downloading nutrition labels and studying them closely is another excellent way of learning how many calories are in any given product or dish.
3. Eat from the Perimeter of the Supermarket
Choose fresh, whole foods instead of processed foods with lots of sugar and salt. Make sure you eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Swap out refined grains for whole grains. Stick to lean protein like fish, poultry, eggs, or beans. Finally, be mindful of how your body feels when it’s full: Stop eating when you feel 80% full (you should still have room for dessert).
4. Use Calorie-Counting Apps
Many apps have calorie counts for over 120,000 foods and tell you how many calories are in a serving size. For example, it might say 1 apple = 100. You would then multiply the number of servings (in this case, 1) by the number of calories (100). So the product would be 100.
5. Use Pre-Made Meal Plans
A lot of people like the convenience of pre-made meal plans that are calorie-controlled. These can be found at health food stores, grocery stores, or online. The best part about these is that they come with an assigned amount of calories per day and will help you know how much you need to eat for your body to function optimally. For example, Legion Athletics says, “You may want to consume between 1200 and 1800 calories per day, depending on your size and activity level.”
Though there are many ways to count calories, these methods are the easiest and most effective. Using one of these methods, or a combination of them, you can accurately count calories and make better food choices for your health.