Most of us have a pretty general idea of how many calories we end up eating every day. We know we’re in a vague range because of how many meals we eat, what we eat at each meal, and what sort of foods we tend to go heavier on. But how much are you REALLY eating? Are you cutting enough calories for weight loss, or are you actually going overboard and not realizing it? It’s important that you know much more specifically how many calories you’re eating every day in order to see real weight loss results.
All Those Little Extras
When you make yourself a sandwich, you count the calories in the ham, the cheese, the bread, perhaps even the veggies. But do you remember to count the mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup? When you have a burger and fries, do you remember to include the soda you had with lunch? Are you remembering to track that handful of nuts you had for snack or that little cookie you snuck with your morning coffee? All the little extras add up, to the point that you end up eating way more calories than are good for you. That’s why it’s so important to track your daily calories for weight loss to make sure you’ve got an accurate count!
Figure Out Your Needs
To be effective at tracking your daily calories for weight loss, you need to know what your daily needs are. There are lots of fancy formulas to help you calculate the specific intake according to your BMR, your age, your daily activity level, and more. It’s worth taking the time to go through those formulas to find the exact number of calories needed to maintain your weight. Once you know that, you can figure out how to burn more calories and consume fewer. Factoring in your daily exercise will help you know exactly how many calories you need to eat every day to stay healthy and keep your metabolism running well while still being able to lose weight.
Add in Dietary Factors
Are you the kind of person who follows a high-protein, low-carb diet? If so, you’ll find that the high-protein diet can accommodate a few more calories, as protein requires a lot more energy to burn. High-fat diets may also have a bit more wiggle room, as fat is slow-digesting and won’t flood your body with energy.
Don’t Negate Exercise
The type of exercise you do can have a huge effect on your diet. For example, low intensity exercise like jogging will burn fat, but it won’t rev up your metabolism as effectively as high intensity exercise or strength training. The faster your metabolism, the more calories you’ll burn throughout the day, so you’ll be able to consume a few more calories to keep up with the higher energy demands placed on your body. Make sure to factor in not only how much exercise you do, but what type of exercise as well.
Analyze Your Metabolism
Everyone has a specific metabolic rate, the unique rate at which their body burns calories. No two metabolisms are the same, so you can’t exactly make a blanket statement like “X calories is good for X weight loss”. Your unique metabolic rate will determine exactly how fast you burn the calories you eat. Some people’s bodies burn specific nutrients faster than others, or work better at certain times of day. You need to factor that into your calculations when trying to determine your daily calories for weight loss.