What Works for Me: Counting Calories

I want to do a short series of behaviors that work for me when it comes to working out on a regular basis, eating right, and (eventually) losing weight. It’s really obvious stuff that you read about within the first 10 minutes of deciding to be healthy, but sometimes it takes a while for it to click. Writing down what works for me is a way for me to be aware that my actions have consequences, both positive and negative. I’m hoping that these posts will be really useful for me to refer to when I need reminders of things I should be focusing on instead of how much I want a large chocolate Oreo Cookie Jar Blizzard at Dairy Queen.

counting lesson

Counting calories and tracking food works really well for me.  Some people find it tedious or annoying and I can definitely see where they’re coming from (since sometimes I forget), but I love it.  I’m a number person.  Burn more calories than you consume.  Burn > Consume.  For me to make that work, I need to know how much I’m consuming.  I also need to know how much I’m burning, which is why I track my workouts as well.

I’ve done Weight Watchers before and while they ask you track your food, you’re really tracking WW points.  When I track food I want immediate feedback of how I’m doing so far (calories, fat, protein, fiber, carbs).  With WW points, you have to sit down and figure out the formula they use to determine points, blah blah blah.  I want to see the raw numerical data right away so I can make adjustments that might be needed.

Writing down what I eat keeps me accountable as well.  I’m much more likely to devour a large piece of cake if I’m not tracking my food.  When I am tracking, I’m certainly not going to deprive myself of cake (hello, it’s cake!), but I’ll likely only have a small piece or I’ll ask someone if they’d like to split a piece.

Being a number person, tracking my food and counting calories works for me.  It keeps me accountable and let’s me make adjustments to my day while still staying in an appropriate caloric range (usually 1400-1600).

Photo from jonathancohen

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5 thoughts on “What Works for Me: Counting Calories

  1. i’m the same way…in a sense. i count calories, but because i virtually eat the same foods every day, there’s not a lot of new equations 🙂 and mostly i just round to the nearest 100. (piece of fruit = 100 calories. 2 pieces of toast = 200, etc.) oh, and yes, i meant stationary bike. my awesome attempt at being clever 🙂

    • I won’t lie, I was kind of hoping you would say that you have a bike with invisible wheels! Because that would be awesome 🙂

      I try to vary things by week. Since I’m cooking for one person, a normal recipe can last me days. In a week, each day is likely similar, but the weeks are different.

  2. Oh I’m totally with you on calorie counting – though I don’t do it all the time because I’m lazy lol

    I try to do it for about a week once a month, just to make sure I’m not straying. You know how that goes. Suddenly a portion of peanut butter is half the jar instead of 2 tablespoons! 🙂

    • I think one day I’ll be able to stop counting calories all the time, but for now I need the accountability.

      I love your blog, so you’re definitely on my blogroll! 🙂

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