Is counting calories a good way to lose weight? The answer to that question is a resounding yes. In fact, I want to scream it out from above the mountains so everyone in a village below hitting brick walls with fad diets might take notice.
As far as I’m concerned, counting calories is the ONLY way to effectively lose weight, and keep it off. Not only that, but let’s say you get to a point where you’re incredibly happy with your physique. But you then decide that you’d like to tone up and add some lean muscle.
Gaining weight is a matter of counting calories too. I know that may seem totally far off or completely irrelevant to your situation, but you’d be surprised at the changes you can make to your body, and very quickly when you make the choice to learn to count calories.
I’ll break down the details below as to why it’s so important to count calories for weight loss, and practically pointless to follow any kind of fad diet to burn off unwanted fat.
Counting Calories Allows You To Control Your Weight
This is the biggest reason I feel counting calories is the most effective way you will lose weight and keep it off in the long run. Plus, if you ever gain any of it back, you won’t be discouraged, because you’ll own it 100%. You’ll know why it happened, and what steps to take to resolve the issue.
That’s so much simpler of a solution than trying to figure out why a diet isn’t working anymore. Diets don’t work because they’re restrictive. Yet people resort to them, I think, because the very idea of counting calories is flat out confusing and overwhelming.
I didn’t want to do it either, but when I finally learned how to count calories properly, it changed my life. When you figure it out, you come to realize that there’s no supplement or magic pill that will get you results the same way figuring this out will.
Calorie Counting vs. Dieting
Here is a truth I see time and again. I know a lot of people who go on diets, and I also know a lot of people who choose the alternative route of counting calories.
Here are some observations I’ve made.
- The people I know who took the extra time to learn to count calories lost weight and kept it off.
- The people I know who followed traditional diets lost weight initially but gained it back.
It’s up to you which category you want to be in. I totally understand the quick-fix fad diet idea. Sometimes, we want to lose weight really fast for an event, and sure, even though they’re totally unhealthy, crash diets can do that for us.
But if you’re looking for long-lasting results and an overall healthy lifestyle that you can stick to and enjoy, then counting calories is the way to go.
Plus, there’s no reason to eliminate carbs or restrict any foods that you love for that matter. All you need to know is your daily calorie budget and make sure to stick to it. It’s not hard to do, and I’m going to teach you how to do it below.
But really quick, I also want to explain why I feel diets just don’t work in the long run. And this is coming from a guy who has followed various eating plans in his life.
Diets Set You Up To Fail
The problem I see with dieting, in general, is that for the most part, they set people up to fail on their journeys to lose weight and drop unwanted fat. I’m not saying that these diets are necessarily bad, although some truly are deceptive.
But what I’m saying is that traditional dieting alone cannot give you long-lasting weight loss results because of a lack of measurements.
I’ve spoken to lots of people who followed Keto religiously for months, and some for years. What’s interesting to me is that everyone I’ve spoken to gained the weight back that they initially lost. And they continued to eat a Keto diet anyway.
Why would you continue to eat low carb if you don’t like it? I’ve been in the same situation, as I used to eat strictly low carb for years before Keto even existed. And while it initially worked amazingly well for me, I now understand why I stopped making progress, and why most people fall off the Keto diet.
It’s because you can eat all the low carb foods in the world, and still gain weight. Why? Because you’re not tracking calories. If you eat more calories in a day than your body can burn, you’re going to gain weight. It doesn’t matter if it’s a low carb steak dinner, or 2 slices of pepperoni pizza.
Diets don’t work well because they tell you which foods you’re not allowed to eat, and which foods are fine to eat. But they rarely teach you the importance of counting calories, which is the most important element of fat loss.
Oftentimes, the reason diets work initially is that they put you into a calorie deficit in the first place. You don’t have to actually count the calories in your food for this to happen. Because you’ve suddenly restricted a bunch of high-calorie foods you normally eat, you’re going to naturally lose weight, cause they’re no longer a part of your eating plan.
So, rather than become overwhelmed by going on another diet, why not just learn the simple way of counting calories? Avoid the depressing idea of not being able to eat your favorite foods, and instead, just learn to eat mindfully by counting calories effectively. You’ll lose weight much faster, and you’ll be much happier. I can almost guarantee that.
How To Lose Weight By Counting Calories
I won’t get into too much detail here about this, because I’ve written far too many articles about calorie deficits and how to use them to lose weight.
But, in short, in order to lose weight, you must eat at a calorie deficit. In order to gain weight, you must eat at a calorie surplus. It’s that simple.
In order to ensure the weight, you’re losing is in the form of fat, and not muscle or bone density, it’s important that you also get sufficient protein in your diet. Whether you are trying to gain weight or lose weight, getting enough protein is essential.
How do you calculate how many calories you should eat in a day?
That article will take you by the hand and explain step by step how to calculate a calorie deficit for yourself, and set you up to lose about 4-5 pounds of fat monthly. If you have over 20 pounds to lose, the deficit will be slightly more aggressive and you’ll lose more weight more quickly.
The deficit I suggest for people is 400 calories. I feel this is the sweet spot of calorie deficits because it’s just enough of a deficit to lose substantial weight, but it’s also lenient enough to allow you to eat your favorite foods.
Looking to gain weight in the form of lean muscle? Click here to learn how.
2 Simple Tools To Count Calories Effectively
The two tools that completely changed my life as far as fat loss goes are as follows:
The first item above is a free app you download onto your phone. It tracks all the foods you eat throughout the day, which makes life incredibly easy. It’s an absolute game changer because you must know what foods and in what quantities are going into your body for effective fat loss. Learn all about MyNetDiary here.
The second item is a food scale. I remember when I first bought one reluctantly. I did NOT want to track calories, and it just seemed like such a dumb and tedious thing to do at the time. Plus, the idea of weighing foods just sounded weird to me.
I packed the food scale away and actually lost it. I went back to traditional dieting which I kept stalling on, so I bought another food scale, but this time I took it seriously.
Luckily, they’re inexpensive. It’s amazing how this little device will change your life if you allow it to.
But the magic happens when you learn how to combine the MyNetDiary app WITH the food scale and learn how to track your meals throughout the day. This way, every night before you go to sleep, you know exactly what you ate, and you’ll know whether you’re on track to your weight loss goals.
I have a full step-by-step tutorial that teaches you how to use both these tools effectively so that you lose weight counting calories, regardless of whether you’re out at a restaurant, at a friend’s house, or eating home-cooked food.
Counting Calories To Lose Weight
So, is counting calories a good way to lose weight? The answer is yes. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the only way to effectively shed off pounds of unwanted fat.
I wish more people asked that question, but I’ve come to learn that in general, we tend to move to dieting, and I think it’s because the idea of counting calories seems overwhelming.
Hopefully, the information shared in this article was helpful. If you plan to count calories to lose weight, then I want to congratulate you. I truly believe you’ll find success doing so. Visit the links in this article and you’ll have a very clear understanding of how to count calories effectively for weight loss (or weight gain).
The beauty of counting calories is you can choose which way to go. I’m gaining weight right now throughout the winter to put on some lean muscle. Inevitably, I’ll probably put on minimal fat as well, so in early spring, I’ll do a brief calorie cut to lose a few pounds of fat.
And this is why calorie counting is so powerful. You decide which direction you want to take your body.
I hope you found this article to be helpful. If you have any questions or comments regarding any of the information laid out here, please leave it below, and I’ll be more than happy to get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks so much for reading!