I cannot emphasize this enough – if you want successful weight loss, you must track your food intake!
And please do not ever tell me that you just do not have time during your busy day to track what you consume. Seriously, just how much time and effort does it require to track your caloric intake for the day? Maybe a minute if you utilize a calorie tracker such as My Fitness Pal?
You can’t spare a few minutes a couple of times during the day to track your food?
Surely, you are not really that busy. I bet you track the balance of funds in your checking account every time you make a purchase. Tracking your food intake is no different, nor is it any less important than keeping track of your monetary expenditures. I am going to just be blunt since obesity brings about so many unnecessary health issues – if you are not tracking your food intake, it is because you just do not want to for whatever reason. The reason most of the time is that people just do not want to be accountable to themselves for their obesity. You may not want to admit this to anyone, and probably not even to yourself – but why else would one not want to hold themselves accountable for their own health?
If you do not think I understand, or know about this firsthand;
it is because I am a fat man in a fit man’s body. I have been obese too!
If you are sincere about losing weight, you must be accountable!
For successful weight loss, and then the following weight management which will be a lifelong pursuit, it is going to require accountability. You can attempt to argue this point, but you will only wind up in the dust bin of history with the other 95% of failed dieters.
Losing weight is not even half of the battle you are facing with weight loss. The real battle comes once you have met your goal weight, and then remaining there for life. Without accountability by tracking your food intake, you will gradually begin to eat more and more until you have regained all of the weight you have lost.
Those who say that tracking calories is bad, are liars!
Yes, I said it. These people will never admit this, they will tell you that tracking your food leads to unhealthy eating patterns. This is absurd from any angle you look at it. By tracking your food intake, your health will improve with weight loss. These naysayers will say that tracking food leads to poor mental health, but so can obesity for many if not most people. Obesity leads to a poor mental outlook when you no longer enjoy life as a result of obesity related illnesses and limited physical capabilities including painful joints from the burden of your excess weight.
Calorie counting helps people to successfully lose weight. It also is an integral component of further weight control.
Recording your caloric intake is the best way to track your daily average. This is too simple, to do this, you can use a variety of apps or start a food diary. Ask your doctor about how many calories you should have each day, or check for yourself on our website Calorie Counter Pro feature. To lower your calorie intake:
- Start by weighing and measuring your food and drink portions
- Quit eating sugar-loaded foods, especially junk foods like cookies or candies
- Choose healthy snacks such as nuts, string cheese, apples, eggs, etc.
Watch what you drink!
- Unlike plain coffee, many coffee drinks contain lots of calories and sugar—often more than in a typical lunch! Just quit those sugary additives altogether.
- If plain water is too plain for you, add a teaspoon of fruit or citrus juice. There are also plenty of sugar free mix ins available today that are just as tasty as their sugary counterparts.
- Alcohol is packed with calories and increases appetite. Cutting down on alcohol offers a quick way to lower your calorie intake. Really, you should just quit drinking alcohol altogether since it lowers inhibitions which can derail your weight loss efforts.
There is truth in that even careful calorie calculations don’t always yield uniform results. But even so, the results are still far superior to not tracking.
Additionally, it is known that how your body burns calories depends on a number of factors, including the type of food you eat, your body’s metabolism, and even the type of organisms living in your gut. You can eat the exact same number of calories as someone else, yet have very different outcomes when it comes to your weight. For this reason, you should never try to mimic what your friend might be doing for weight loss. No one begins their weight loss journey from the same starting line – never compare yourself to others!
Focus on nutritional quality.
When planning your meals, try to cut down on or eliminate processed foods, which can drive your body to consume more. Instead, focus on choosing unprocessed foods, including lean meats, whole grains, and lots of fruits and vegetables in their natural form. But you also must remember that even too much of a good thing will get you in trouble. Even with healthy food choices, you still need to track your food and caloric intake for lasting results. Calories consumed verses calories burned still applies to healthy food choices.
Exercise regularly (as well as vigorously).
With your doctors approval, aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. Moderate exercise is done at a level where you can talk, but not sing. A lot of people think moderate exercise is a casual walk to the garden, but it’s more like walking up a large hill. While any movement is better than nothing, work toward achieving a more vigorous level of exercise when you can.
One thing you have to remember is – exercise does not give you license to eat as much as you want. You must still be accountable for your food intake simply because you cannot out-exercise excessive caloric intake.
Being overweight makes it even more likely that we’ll underestimate the calories in our meal.
I’m sorry, but the truth hurts sometimes. If you have a weight problem, you truly are more prone to underestimating how much you eat. We often ask people if they weigh and measure their foods, and the answer coming from those who claim they cannot lose weight is always “no”. If you are not weighing and measuring your foods, how could you possibly hold yourself to account in how much you are eating?
In one study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers found that all people, no matter what their size, are more likely to be able to accurately guess the number of calories in small meals than in large ones. Overweight people tend to eat larger meals and larger portions, which explains why they tend to make mistakes counting calories, researchers say.
Weighing, measuring, and tracking your food is critical to weight management. Even nutritional experts can get it wrong when estimating the calories in a plate full of food. Even nutrition professionals can underestimate calories in food portions by half. If nutritional professionals can get it wrong, just think about how wrong you can be as well.
Five reasons to track your food and calories.
- You will make better food choices when you do so. You become accountable to yourself, which allows you to monitor your progress better. Within the first couple days of tracking your meals and their calories, you will be shocked. There is no more fooling yourself about how much you are or are not consuming when you write it down. Journaling and logging your food choices leads to making better choices. Holding yourself accountable is far superior than wasting your calories first thing in the morning on a donut.
- You learn how much you can actually consume. Believe it or not, but when you quit eating sugar and processed foods as we recommend here at David’s Way, it can actually be difficult to eat enough calories in a day. When you know how much you can actually consume, you will begin to reassess what goes in and what should be left out. If you are counting calories, count them correctly for your needs instead of your friends needs.
- You will find yourself eating smaller portions when you are holding yourself accountable. Calorie control is not so much about restricting your diet as it is about eating the right amount of good foods. Some people will say it is not easy to eat healthy all the time, but portion control is still entirely possible when good eating is not.
- One key factor for success comes from visualizing. When you see, you really see it. You see your goals, you see your food, you see the calories, and you begin to consciously make better decisions. When your calorie intake is in your face, reality sets in. There is no running from it. If you are honest with yourself, success will follow if you take the cues to make healthier decisions about your calories.
- Tracking your food intake and calories is 100% free. No, you don’t need to sign up for an expensive weight-loss plan, you don’t need a 300-page book, and you don’t need a monthly subscription. You need an app, you need nutrition labels, and you need to count everything that goes in. And you can always follow our guidance here at David’s Way for free, we never charge you to access this website which is chock full of excellent weight loss and weight management information just for you.
If you consistently eat more calories than you burn, you are very prone to gaining weight. Some people may gain incredibly quickly, some incredibly slowly, but we live in a universe governed by the unbreakable physical law of thermodynamics regarding calories consumed verses calories burned. Putting this more bluntly, if you happen to have one of those bodies that’s demonstrated itself to be truly efficient at gaining weight, and you happen to regularly consume more energy than your body burns, your body will dutifully store some of that energy for the future as unwanted fat.
Tracking your food intake is something that truly only takes a few seconds to minutes a day to do. Each and every time you pull out your app or diary, you remind yourself of your healthy living desires and strategies for healthy weight management. It’s through regular and conscious efforts and reminders that new habits are formed, and any behavior that helps you to keep your goals and intentions at the forefront of your busy mind is a good one.