Calorie Counting Do’s and Don’ts – How to Get the Most Out of Tracking

by Editor on March 16, 2019

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Some experts will tell you that counting calories is the best way to track what you eat and lose weight, while others claim that counting calories hinders dieting more than it helps. Wherever your opinion lands on the calorie counting spectrum, if you should ever decide to track your calories for weight loss, here are some smart do’s and don’ts tips to help you make the most of your tracking efforts.


  • Find out your personal calorie needs – Before you can tally, you need to know what your personal daily calorie limit is for weight loss. The easiest way to obtain an accurate estimate is to use an online calculator that factors in your age, gender, height, weight and activity level.
  • Focus on the quality of your food – Pay attention from where you’re obtaining your calories, because not all foods are created equal. For instance, 100 calories from apple juice and 100 calories from an actual apple are not the same. There is a notable difference in how each of these foods impacts your drive to eat. The juice is highly processed and packed with sugars that can encourage hunger, while the apple is filled with complex carbohydrates and fiber, which helps you stay satisfied for longer.
  • Use a tracking system – It doesn’t matter if you prefer the old-school method of writing in a journal of if you’d rather the convenience of a digital tracking system, record what you eat as you go about your day and you’re less likely to exceed your calorie limit.


  • Skip meals to save up calories for later – If your goal is to eat a heavy dinner, don’t skip breakfast and lunch to save yourself the calories you’ll need for dinner. By doing this, you’ll be so hungry by the time you eat dinner that you’re much more likely to blow your calorie limit. Instead, eat slightly smaller meals earlier in the day and have a snack filled with fiber and protein about an hour before your dinner. This can help you to resist the temptation to overindulge.
  • Depend on your memory – As annoying as it can be to log your food all the time, it is important that you do it as soon as possible after you eat so that you don’t forget what you had. If you choose to log everything all at once at the end of the day, you’re much more likely to forget some of the foods you ate. Everything you eat – big or small – counts. Accuracy is important for effective tracking. When you get into the habit of logging all the time, it will become less of a chore.
  • Give up if you slip up – You’re not perfect, none of us are. Don’t beat yourself up on days when you blow your calorie limit. It’ll happen. If you don’t want to sabotage your success, simply accept that you fell off the diet wagon for that day and then get back on track. Tomorrow is a new day. Stay positive and remember that a slip up now and then isn’t going to ruin long-term, consistent progress.

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