Learning to count calories for weight loss is an art in itself, and I guarantee if you set your mind to applying the things I’ll teach in this article, you will begin to notice positive results in the mirror and on your scale in just a month. I think it’s also important to throw out preconceptions of diets, just in case you have them like I did for a long time.
For instance, I held onto the belief for years, that the only way I could drop body fat and get lean was by eating a low carb diet. But today, the only thing I do is count calories and make sure I take in enough protein. That’s it. From pizza to burgers, fries and ice cream, I now eat whatever I want, and you easily can too while dropping weight.
This blog was inspired by what I learned about calories and just how important they are to fat loss.
These two things are what you need to understand to lose weight:
- Know Your Calorie Deficit
- Know How To Properly Count Calories
I was lazy about this for years. I sort of kind of understood calories and that we needed to eat a certain amount of them each day but I didn’t really count them accurately cause I didn’t think it was really that important for weight loss. I figured that the key to weight loss is eating low carb.
If you’re lazy about counting calories, but you’re serious about losing weight, then now is the time to buckle down and learn about the calories you need to be consuming each day in order to lose weight, and then learn to track them accurately.
It’s so simple to do, even though it requires a little bit of work. It’s worth the extra 10 minutes you have to put in each day because the results you’ll get are measurable, and also clearly visible in them mirror.
The friends who have followed what I teach have lost weight and they’re incredibly happy with the results they’ve gotten. Recently, I’ve been seeing my best friend start wearing shirts he hasn’t taken out of his closet in years and he’s proudly wearing them, even though he acts like it’s no big deal. This is what I want to see happen to everyone I know, and it’s why I created this website.
So, I’d like to now teach you how to count calories so you can hit your own fitness goals. This is a fairly long article but I’ve tried to make it as detailed as possible so that you can learn how to accurately count your calories for weight loss.
Calculate Your Calorie Deficit
This is not one of the 2 game changing tools, but it is without question, the most important thing you need to understand and the very first thing you need t do. If you want to lose weight, then you need to be eating at a calorie deficit. If you follow this, you can eat whatever foods you love, and still lose weight.
The calorie deficit I personally suggest will cause you to lose approximately 4 to 5 pounds each month. I recommend that you eat at a 400 calorie deficit per day. What does that mean? It means you’ll be eating 400 calories less per day than you need to eat in order to maintain your current weight. However, if you have more than 20 pounds to lose, the calculation is slightly different, but it’s all laid out at this link for you to do the calculation for yourself.
Eating at a 400 calorie deficit per day is also very realistic, unlike some crazy diets I have seen that practically tell people to starve themselves. The problem with diets like that is that they’re not sustainable, and people eventually crash, then overeat again and gain weight back.
What I teach is a much more long term strategy so that you can enjoy life, enjoy foods you love, and drop weight all at the same time.
So, please head on over to this page here, and scroll to the section that says “calculate your calorie deficit”. Once you’ve done the math and figured out what your personal calorie deficit is, head on back here.
Now we’re going to discuss the two tools that have been game changers for me in dropping fat and getting defined.
Weight Loss Tool #1 – MyNetDiary
You may already be aware of these apps. I think a lot of people already have them installed on their phones. But learning to use them strategically so that you begin to lose weight and make progress towards your fitness goals is what we need to do with them.
Now that you know your calorie deficit, we’re going to use MyNetDiary to track your daily calorie intake, because it’s the app I personally use. My understanding is that MyFitnessPal is just as good.
You don’t need to pay for the upgrades in these apps either. The free versions will do just fine. You can download MyNetDiary onto your phone right here.
So, let’s say your calorie deficit is 1800. That’s how many calories you need to eat per day in order to drop 4 to 5 pounds per month.
How To Enter Calories Info Into MyNetDIary
So, the next step is to enter your calorie deficit number into your MyNetDiary app. It’s very simple to do. Just tap the number underneath where it says “calorie budget” and then on the following page, where it says “food calories budget” just tap that number and enter your personal calorie deficit. You want to override any number that MyNetDiary already has in there.
To use the app to count calories, you simply enter the foods you’re eating into the app. For instance, tonight, I ordered a Chipotle Chicken Burrito, with guac for dinner. I went into the app, and tapped the green plus button at the bottom of the screen to enter that burrito’s calorie information.
Chipotle items are already recognized inside the app, among countless other popular restaurants, so you don’t have much to do other than enter “chipotle chicken burrito with guac”. The burrito I ordered is 1,150 calories, so it immediately deducts it from my daily calorie budget.
I now have 615 calories left for the day, which I’m sure I’ll eat before bed. I pretty much love to eat ice cream, chocolate, or some kind of sweets before bed. That’s what I’m craving tonight anyway. Oh, quick note, one thing I’ve learned is that it’s OKAY to eat before bed. You’ll still lose weight as long as you stick to your calorie budget.
2 Ways To Use MyNetDiary To Track Calories
So, as you can see, there are two ways I’ve mentioned on how you can use the MyNetDiary app to accurately track the calories you eat.
- Scan food items directly into the app. Most all grocery store items are recognized in the app. I almost never have a problem with this. So whatever you’re about to eat, just scan the bar code and log the calories into the app.
- If you’re eating out from a restaurant, just search for the food item and enter it into the app. Most major chain restaurants are listed and you can just as easily enter a Maggiano’s lasagna dinner into the app as you can a McDonald’s Big Mac.
But How Do You Count Calories If You’re Cooking From Scratch?
What if you are cooking food at home and you don’t know exactly how many calories are in it. For instance, let’s say you’re cooking a chicken breast dinner. Well, I’ve learned that what I used to think was 100 calorie chicken breast is actually closer to 300 calories. That’s a huge difference, and will absolutely cause you to gain weight if you don’t the food weight track properly.
This is exactly where a food scale comes in. The food scale has been a major game changer and I attribute a huge chunk of my own fat loss to owning a food scale. I’ll talk about that next.
Weight Loss Tool #2 – Food Scale
Wow, the things you learn about food, just by owning a food scale are pretty amazing. What I mean by that is now I understand just how much I used to overeat without really thinking that I was.
I was frustrated about not getting lean and defined, even though I was eating strictly low carb, and working out 6 days a week with intense cardio. It didn’t make sense.
If you want to know how to count calories for weight loss and be absolutely accurate about what you’re putting into your body, a food scale is a must. I mainly use it for meats, cause that’s where I was definitely counting inaccurately. Meats actually change weight after they’re cooked, so when you do weigh meats, you should do so before you prepare them.
When I make tacos however, since the meat is already cooked, I’ll go into the MyNetDiary app and search for 90% ground beef crumbles cooked. It’s very important that you search for “cooked” if you’re going to log meat after it’s cooked, because the calorie difference between cooked meats and raw meats are big.
Simplest Way To Use A Food Scale
If you’re making burgers, it’s really easy to separate them into equal portions, weigh them on the scale, and then log the weight into the MyNetDiary app.
For instance, I made a half pound burger a few nights ago using 95% lean ground beef. Well, first I weighed the meat on the scale to make sure it was 8 ounces (half pound). It was actually 7.95 ounces. So, I just searched in the app for 95% lean ground beef raw, and entered the information. The app logs it right away.
Shredded cheese is another food item that’s kind of hard to measure without weighing it. What I do is scan the packaging with MyNetDiary, then weigh the cheese on the scale. If you weigh an ounce of low fat Colby jack shredded cheese, that’s 90 calories, easily logged into the app.
What About Foods Not Listed In MyNetDiary?
I have a little workaround with foods that aren’t listed inside MyNetDiary. For instance, what if you want to eat fresh bakery bread? A local bakery down the street is not going to be listed in the app.
What I would do in this scenario is look up a generic term. So, I would look up “homemade bread” or if it’s whole wheat, I’d type in “homemade whole wheat bread” and that WILL be listed in the app. Just slice the bread to whatever size you want, weigh it on the food scale, and log it into the app.
I do the same thing with other foods that you can’t find in the app, such as homemade pizza, or pizza from a local restaurant. Or let’s say you’re cooking something that has many different ingredients such as a casserole. For Thanksgiving leftovers, I was given a mac and cheese casserole. I found “cheesy casserole” in the app, grabbed a pretty nice slice, and weighed it on the scale, and logged it into the app.
So, I hope you see how a food scale and MyNetDiary work hand in hand and if you use them the way I’ve explained here, while following your personal calorie deficit, you’ll absolutely lose weight.
Click here to see the food scale I personally use. It’s inexpensive and works just fine for tracking calories for weight loss.
A Few Other Weight Loss Tips
The sections listed above contain all the information you need to know how to count calories to lose weight and the tools you should be using to make it very easy for you. I’d like to quickly mention a few other things that I incorporate into my daily life which make weight loss very seamless and fun.
If this term scares you, I understand. It scared me too just cause “fasting” sounds like I’m going to be starving myself. But really, when I started doing intermittent fasting, it made eating so much more enjoyable than it ever was before.
Intermittent fasting is NOT a diet. It’s simply a matter of changing the hours of the day that you eat. That’s all.
I used to eat 5 to 6 small meals per day and it was tedious having to think constantly about what I was going to eat for each little meal. Intermittent fasting has many fat burning benefits, but it also makes eating so much more enjoyable.
If you want to know more about what intermittent fasting actually is and see a day in my life of intermittent fasting, click here.
If you’d like to understand more about the fat burning benefits of Intermittent fasting, then visit this link.
Walking 10,000 Steps
Walking 10,000 steps per day is such a laid back cardio activity, I never would have thought it’s such a powerful tool for weight loss, but it really is. I haven’t done any intense cardio since walking every day.
This isn’t necessary and my best friend who lost 30 pounds following this method, didn’t walk 10,000 steps a day, but it’s health benefits are many, and you’ll notice pounds shed faster if you incorporate this.
This includes all walking by the way, whether you walk to the car, to the mailbox, or to the grocery store.
To learn how many calories you’ll personally burn by walking 10,000 steps per day, visit this article here.
Count Your Calories – Lose Weight
I hope you learned a lot from this article. I tried my best to be as accurate and detailed as possible. To sum it up, you just need MyNetDiary (or similar app) and a simple food scale to accurately track your daily calories for weight loss.
Remember, you must first calculate your calorie deficit by visiting this link here.
Once you’ve done that, simply use the app and food scale to measure what you’re eating each and every day, and you’ll be set to lose approximately 4 to 5 pounds per month.
Do you have methods of your own that you use to track calories? I’d love to learn what’s worked for you. If you have any other questions or comments about anything in this article or if you need any clarity regarding topics laid out above, please let me know and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you very much for reading.