You have likely heard the phrase "calories in, calories out" in reference to the amount of calories that you consume and the amount of calories that you burn throughout the day. It can be difficult to ensure that you are consuming less calories than you are burning if you aren't actually counting your calories. Here are some tips for starting to count your calories so that you can ensure that your weight loss journey is as comfortable as possible.
1. Write Down Everything You Eat and the Number of Calories Per Item
The first thing that you need to do is start writing down everything that you put in your mouth. You can use a physical journal or an Excel spreadsheet. There are even apps on your phone that are perfect for this task. You also need to write down the calories per item. This can be difficult because you might not know exactly. Going online and doing some research will help you figure out the rough number of calories for the average piece of lasagna if you are eating a home cooked meal. Otherwise, you should look at the food labels.
If you have absolutely no idea how many calories are in something, go ahead and estimate, but be sure that you estimate high. It is more common for people to underestimate the number of calories that they have consumed rather than overestimate.
2. Get a Food Scale
Getting a food scale and using it can seem tedious at first but it really can help you ensure that you are not overeating. You might be surprised that what you thought was a single serving is actually two or three servings. This can result in your calorie counts being very wrong and therefore in you not losing as much weight as you might have hoped. Getting a food scale will help keep you honest.
3. Do the Math Once
Have a set list of meals and snacks that you figure out the calories for and then keep rotating through this list. This will allow you to be more accurate in your calorie counts and reduce the amount of time that you have to spend each day trying to figure out how many calories you have consumed.
For more information, talk to a weight loss program about recipes. They will have recipes that will already have the calories figured out so that you don't have to do as much work.