One of the key “secrets” to losing weight and keeping it off for the long term is to create a calorie deficit. This means that you will be taking in less calories than the total number of calories that you are currently using and this will create an environment where weight loss will occur in a systematic and straight forward way.
This article will help you to understand and utilize the power of counting calories to lose weight by answering the most frequently asked questions.
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What Is A Calorie?
To take advantage of counting calories to lose weight you will need to know what a calorie actually is in the first place. The most basic definition of a calorie is: a unit of measurement for energy. When looking at nutritional information panels on food items and packaging you may see calories or kilocalories. One kilocalories is equal to 1000 calories.
How Many Calories Do I Need To Lose Weight?
This question is impossible to work out unless you know basal metabolic rate or BMR, which is the energy needed for you body to function. Once you know what this is, then you will need to further calculate the calories you will need for your activities that you do on a daily basis or how much energy your expend. Once you know this figure you will need to make a few more calculations and then you will discover the number of calories you will need to lose weight.
The process is actually easy to do with a BMR calculator as writing about it is notoriously confusing and difficult. Most diet programs will have a BMR calculator as part of their package or you can find one online.
How Do I Count Calories?
After you have established how many calories you will need to intake each day to lose weight the next step is to implement a calorie counting system into your daily life. The easiest way to count calories to lose weight is to get a diet program that includes a calorie chart which you can print out and use for reference.
Most packaged products today will have the caloric information on the packaging but for many items, especially fresh items such as fruit and vegetables you will need a reference to guide you into calculating the calories of the product. This is where reference charts come in handy! The idea is to write down in a journal or a small notebook the total number of calories for each meal that you have.
You are aiming to get the number of calories below or on point with the total daily amount that will allow you to lose weight. There is much truth to the phrase: “you cannot manage what you do not measure” and this is even more truthful when it comes to counting calories to lose weight.
What Is A Healthy Rate To Lose Weight?
It has been proven that when you start a calorie counting system to lose weight you should have the expectation of losing between .5 to 2 pounds of weight per week. You should not overestimate you fat burning potential because even though it is possible to lose over 2 pounds of weigh per week this is not healthy and a large sum of that weight will be from water loss, not actual fat. If you stick to the range stated then it will be more than likely that you will be able to sustain this for the long term and it will not be just another “crash diet”.