Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

The Truth About Counting Calories And Weight Loss


Do calories matter or do you simply need to eat certain foods and that will guarantee you'll lose weight? Should you count calories or can you just count "portions?" Is it necessary to keep a food diary? Is it unrealistic to count calories for the rest of your life or is that just part of the price you pay for a better body?

You're about to learn the answers to these questions and discover a simple solution for keeping track of your food intake without having to crunch numbers every day or become a fanatic about your food.

In many popular diet books, "Calories don't count" is a frequently repeated theme. Other popular programs, such as Bill Phillip's "Body For Life," allude to the importance of energy intake versus energy output, but recommend that you count "portions" rather than calories?

Phillips wrote,

"There aren't many people who can keep track of their calorie intake for an extended period of time. As an alternative, I recommend counting 'portions.' A portion of food is roughly equal to the size of your clenched fist or the palm of your hand. Each portion of protein or carbohydrate typically contains between 100 and 150 calories. For example, one chicken breast is approximately one portion of protein, and one medium-sized baked potato is approximately one portion of carbohydrate."

Phillips makes a good point that trying to count every single calorie - in the literal sense - can drive you crazy and is probably not realistic as a lifestyle for the long term. It's one thing to count portions instead of calories - that is at least acknowledging the importance of portion control. However, it's another altogether to deny that calories matter.

Yes, calories do count! Any diet program that tells you, "calories don't count" or you can "eat all you want and still lose weight" is a diet you should avoid. The truth is, that line is a bunch of baloney designed to make a diet sound easier to follow. Anything that sounds like work - such as counting calories, eating less or exercising, tends to scare away potential customers! But the law of calorie balance is an unbreakable law of physics: Energy in versus energy out dictates whether you will gain, lose or maintain your weight. Period.

I believe that it's very important to develop an understanding of and a respect for portion control and the law of calorie balance I also believe it's an important part of nutrition education to learn how many calories are in the foods you eat on a regular basis - including (and perhaps, especially) how many calories are in the foods you eat when you dine at restaurants.

The law of calorie balance says:

To maintain your weight, you must consume the same number of calories you burn. To gain weight, you must consume more calories than you burn. To lose weight, you must consume fewer calories than you burn.

If you only count portions or if you haven't the slightest clue how many calories you're eating, it's a lot more likely that you'll eat more than you realize. (Or you might take in fewer calories than you should, which triggers your body's "starvation mode" and causes your metabolism to shut down).

So how do you balance practicality and realistic expectations with a nutrition program that gets results? Here's a solution that's a happy medium between strict calorie counting and just guessing:

Create a menu using an EXCEL spreadsheet or your favorite nutrition software. Crunch all the numbers including calories, protein, carbs and fats. Once you have your daily menu, print it, stick it on your refrigerator (and/or in your daily planner) and you now have an eating "goal" for the day, including a caloric target.

That is my definition of "counting calories" -- creating a menu plan you can use as a daily guide, not necessarily writing down every morsel of food you eat for the rest of your life. If you're really ambitious, keeping a nutrition journal for at least 4-12 weeks is a great idea and an incredible learning experience, but all you really need to get started on the road to a better body is one good menu on paper. If you get bored eating the same thing every day, you can create multiple menus, or just exchange foods using your one menu as a template.

Using this method, you really only need to count calories once when you create your menus. After you've got a knack for calories from this initial discipline of menu planning, then you can estimate portions in the future and get a pretty good (and more educated) ballpark figure.

So what's the bottom line? Is it really necessary to count every calorie to lose weight? No. But it IS necessary to eat fewer calories then you burn. Whether you count calories and eat less than you burn, or you don't count calories and eat less than you burn, the end result is the same - you lose weight. Which would you rather do: Take a wild guess, or increase your chance for success with some simple menu planning? I think the right choice is obvious.

Copyright 2005 Tom Venuto

Tom Venuto is a certified personal trainer, natural bodybuilder and author of the #1 best selling diet e-book, "Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle. You can get info on Tom's e-book at: http://www.burnthefat.com. To get Tom's free monthly e-zine, visit http://www.fitren.com


MORE RESOURCES:

KSAT San Antonio

Obese dog leaves SA, making progress on weight loss
KSAT San Antonio
Obese dog leaves SA, making progress on weight loss. 147-pound Doberman named "Big Bear" getting healthy makeover. POSTED YESTERDAY, 9:46 PM UPDATED TODAY, 3:46 AM. big-bear-leaves-sa-making-progress-on-weight-. By KSAT Anchor/ ...

and more »


Make Kids' Weight Loss a Family Affair: Study
WebMD
During that time, all were given standard weight-loss information solely aimed at helping their child shed weight. The remaining parents received the same general advice. But in addition, all were given hands-on guidance -- in person and by phone ...

and more »


Food sensitivity test leads to better health, weight loss
WPBF West Palm Beach
Sensitivities to food can also surface in the form of anxiety, depression, joint pain, asthma, acne, bad breath, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, brain fog, hyperactivity, puffy eyes and face, and even stubborn weight loss. Oxford Biomedical ...



Bidness Etc

A winner - and a loser - in the weight-loss sector
USA TODAY
Sales were up 14%, net income jumped 36% and CEO Dawn Zier said new products and weight-loss programs were fueling customer growth. But Nutrisystem was weighed down by softer third-quarter earnings and revenue projections that would have been ...
Analysts Mull Weight Watchers' Eroding Subscriber BaseBenzinga
Weight Watchers Earnings Decline, but Full-Year Guidance IncreasedWall Street Journal

all 29 news articles »


VentureBeat

Here's What Happened When I Tried a Children's Weight-Loss App
TIME
I'm seeing red everywhere—not because I have an anger management problem but because I've been using Kurbo, a new app designed to help kids lose weight. And as with many things aimed at children (See: remote control cars, trampolines, songs from ...
Kurbo Health, the mobile weight-loss service for kids, bulks up with $5.8M roundVentureBeat
Mobile-enabled weight loss company for kids Kurbo Health raises $5.8Mmobihealthnews
Kurbo Health Raises $5.8 Million To Fight Childhood Obesity Via An App, Live ...TechCrunch

all 9 news articles »


Fox News

Weight-loss supplement linked to liver failure case
Fox News
A healthy 35-year-old woman who took a weight-loss supplement developed liver failure, and needed a liver transplant, according to a new report of her case. The woman took three Saba Appetite Control and Energy (ACE) pills within two days, and two ...

and more »


Study: Online Intervention Program Improves Weight Loss Results
iHealthBeat
Supplementing a weight loss program with online behavioral intervention is less costly and nearly as effective as adding in-person support group sessions, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health, MobiHealthNews ...



mySanAntonio.com (blog)

“Biggest Loser” finalist will speak about weight loss
mySanAntonio.com (blog)
Many of the contestants on “The Biggest Loser” dropped a lot of weight during their time on the NBC reality show, but almost as many gained it all back. Not Hannah Curlee, a Texas native and finalist on Season 11 of the show who lost more than 100 pounds.

and more »


Study: Online behavioral intervention improves weight loss outcomes
mobihealthnews
ShapeUp While adding in-person group support sessions to a weight loss program produces the best results, adding just an online behavioral intervention can produce results nearly as good, at a much lower cost. Those are the findings from a 230-person ...



Broadway World

Extreme Weight Loss on ABC Cassie [Recap/Review]
Guardian Liberty Voice
On Extreme Weight Loss on ABC tonight, Cassie, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was healthy and physically fit as a child and young woman. However, after she became unexpectedly with child at 21, she decided to give up her son for adoption. After that, her ...
Extreme Weight Loss Recap Season 4, Cassie Searches For Her SonEmpty Lighthouse Magazine
Local woman on ABC's "Extreme Weight Loss"WKOW
ABC's Tuesday Unscripted Series Grow - 'Extreme Weight Loss' Ties a 2-Month ...TVbytheNumbers
Broadway World -TVGrapevine.com
all 19 news articles »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.