Measuring calories consumed through food, versus calories burned each day, is a component of almost any weight loss plan. But all of that measuring and counting can overwhelm anyone at times. Try these four tips to ease the burden a bit, while still holding yourself accountable to your goals.
Set a range, not a strict limit. If you cap your calories at a strict number, you might find yourself frustrated when you can almost – but not quite – cram an extra snack into your day. Plus, some days you are just hungrier than other days. There is no point to fighting your natural fluctuations.
Instead, set a range for your daily caloric intake. Try to fall within 100 calories of your target number. If you hit the higher end of the range, perhaps add in a little extra exercise that day. Follow your body’s natural rhythms, rather than fighting against them.
Experiment with different calorie-counting apps. It might take a few tries to find a format that makes sense to you. Give each app a few weeks to adjust to it, unless you absolutely hate it right off the bat. Sometimes a tool includes a learning tool, but it’s so easy once you dedicate your time to learning it.
Allow yourself to make educated guesses. All of the foods you encounter won’t have a label, and most of us don’t carry around scales everywhere you go. Use your calorie tracker’s functions to make your best educated guess, and don’t get too hung up on it. If you do have to guess at a lot of foods, try to stay in the lower end of your calorie range, just in case. That’s why you set a range, after all!
Set a realistic goal. If you set a very low calorie “allowance” range for each day, you will easily become frustrated at finding foods that fit into your plan. Plus, cutting calories too low can actually backfire by making you feel sluggish and triggering cravings. Not sure what constitutes a reasonable daily allowance? Set an appointment with us, and we’ll discuss your nutritional needs and introduce you to a medical weight loss plan that will work for your body type.