I prefer to count carbs and watch my portion control. I eat 50-100g of carbs per day, have 6 small portions of proteins a day, four small servings of veggies and two small servings of fruit each day, two small salads per day, watching what choices I make on all of them. However, some people want to know how to count calories. Here is how:
- Determine How Many Calories You Should EatHow many calories you need to eat to maintain your current weight depends on factors such as your gender, age, height, weight, and activity level. Your body uses about two-thirds of the calories you consume each day just to keep its systems functioning — your heart beating, your muscles moving. The rest of your calorie intake, according to My Calorie Counter, fuels everyday activities.To find out your ideal caloric intake, start by calculating what’s known as your base metabolic rate (BMR):
- Women: Multiply your weight by 10. Men: Multiply by 11. This is your BMR.
- Now add to that 20 percent of your BMR if you have a sedentary lifestyle; 30 percent if you are somewhat active; 40 percent if you are moderately active; or 50 percent if you are very active.
- The number you get is how many calories you need to maintain your weight.
1. Count How Many Calories You Actually Eat and Burn
You can easily cut 500 calories by making small diet and exercise changes throughout your day. Here’s one approach:
- Breakfast: Drink water instead of orange juice (calories saved: 117)
- Snack: Have sliced cucumber and a tablespoon of hummus instead of a bag of chips (calories saved: 119)
- Lunch: Swap out your salad’s creamy ranch dressing for fat-free Italian (calories saved: 66)
- Dessert: Eat half of a cup of strawberries instead of a half of a cup of chocolate ice cream (calories saved: 118).
- Exercise: Stroll at a moderate pace for 30 minutes (calories burned: 125 for a woman weighing 145)
2. Get Portion Saavy.
In a world where SUPERSIZED is the new normal, these tips can help you recognize what a healthy portion looks like, which can help you keep calories in check:
- Think of a tennis ball. It’s the equivalent of one cup of food, which is the recommended portion for such foods as pasta, cereal, and yogurt.
- Don’t eat straight out of the container or bag. It’s a recipe for mindlessly overeating. Instead, measure a serving size of whatever you’re noshing on — almonds, soy chips, or other snacks — and put it on a plate or in a bowl.
- Use smaller plates. Trick your mind into thinking that you have more food by downsizing your large dinner plate for a smaller salad-sized one. A healthy portion can look teeny on a huge plate but will seem more normal when you shrink its surroundings.
- Spoil your appetite with nutritious food. Try eating celery sticks with peanut butter an hour before mealtime.
Remember to keep portion size in control and count calories and/or carbs! Read labels!