Do calories have to be exact?
In order to lose weight, everyone now understands that we really need to ingest less energy than the body requires, and that calorie reduction should be a gradual process over the course of weeks. In an attempt to cut calories from the diet, many people get caught up with the exact number of calories in each and every item of food or drink, but is it really that important to be so accurate with calorie counting?
The answer is no, not really!
Think about it, there are so many variables involved in the amount of energy we expend each day that any inaccuracy in dietary intake can be balanced out on expenditures from the daily workload and activity. As long as we keep generally active each day then there should be no problems. For example, one day you may burn equivalent to over 2000 calories but, if energy intake were anything between 1500-1800 calories then you’ll still be on track to lose weight. In this example, there would be no need for the individual to count exactly 1500 calories or whatever the calorie target may be.
One drawback may be on occasional days there is a reverse in energy balance, where we don’t burn off as much energy as needed, for example, due to tiredness after a long day at work, maybe a workout was below optimum, less enthusiasm for a day’s exercise program. We cannot really do much about our off days but, we could compensate for these days with a slight adaptation within the diet.
When I have a workout that has been below average I make sure I adapt my dietary intake accordingly for the following day, maybe cut out the butter on a sandwich or have only half portion of rice or potatoes. The point is I don’t have to count out exact calories on these days either. Just try to keep in mind possible fluctuations and adapt accordingly. Doing this should help you keep in a constant negative energy balance to lose weight consistently
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