If you want to avoid overeating, this article will show you easy ways to count calories for weight loss without hating life.
The very thought of counting calories inspires fear in people who see it as turning their whole lives into a series of unending numbers.
They are justified to an extent because if you do not do it correctly, counting calories can turn your life into Math.
Being mindful of your calorie intake will go a long way in helping you lose weight, no doubt. But how can you count calories for weight loss without hating life? Here’s how!
How to Count Calories for Weight Loss
1. Find the ‘Why’ Behind It
Why do you want to count calories for weight loss? Is it because it is the trendy thing to do? Is it because everyone else in the office is doing it? Or is it because you genuinely feel you need to lead a healthier life and be mindful of what you eat?
The latter reason is strong, the former, not so much.
If you have a strong reason for counting calories, you’re more likely to stick with it long-term. Otherwise, it will feel like a chore.
2. Don’t Beat Yourself Up if You Fail
There are days you will not be able to stay within the limit as you count calories for weight loss.
It happens to the best of us. Sometimes your body needs more energy than your calorie intake allows. And that is totally okay.
Whenever you find yourself falling short of your goals, make a mental note to do a better job next time. Do not chide yourself for the rest of the week for that one time you failed to live up to your daily intake goals.
3. Don’t Look at It as A Punishment
Counting calories is not a punishment for your wild, junk-filled, sedentary, carbs-filled past. It is not what you get for losing sight of your weight loss goals.
The one thing that determines whether counting calories will make you love or hate life is the attitude you have towards it.
Look at it as a means to right your diet and momentarily help you keep your food intake in check until you can make healthier food choices.
It will certainly feel like a season in hell if you look at it as punishment.
4. Do Not Be Obsessive
When some people start to count calories to lose weight, they become obsessive about it. They want to track everything they put in their mouths.
Do not center your life around counting calories that you find it difficult to enjoy the little pleasures of life. Obsessing over calories can actually lead to eating disorders.
5. Complement calorie-counting with other weight-loss strategies
Ever heard that phrase, a drowning man will clutch at a straw? If you only rely on calorie-counting, it might be harder for you to reach your weight goal.
Instead, complement it with other weight-loss strategies like drinking water before meals and increasing fiber intake.
That way, you’ll easily maintain a calorie deficit without obsessing over everything you swallow.
6. Download a Calorie-Counting App
When you count calories for weight loss, it comes with its own share of Math. Instead of using a pen and paper or your phone calculator every time you come across food, download an app.
There are so many apps to choose from and mostly the perfect one depends on your individual goal and tastes.
Let the app handle the tough part of calorie-counting. Having an app also helps you stay accountable, as it shows you how certain foods may stall your weight loss efforts.
7. Manage Your Expectations
People go into counting calories expecting to lose insane amounts of pounds in just weeks. When it does not happen, they quit counting calories. This is not a very practical approach to counting calories because weight loss is multifaceted.
It would have been much easier if it only depended on calories. But even if you count your calories for weight loss, factors such as stress levels, sleep quality, hormones still affect your weight.
8. Listen to Your Body
If you feel so fatigued and what your calorie intake allows you to take is a single baby carrot, you are bound to hate life.
Even as you count calories for weight loss, leave room for being practical.
Feeling extremely hungry and tired will only work against you. Not only will you develop a bad attitude towards counting calories, but you are also likely to make the wrong food choices in this state.
9. Eat Small Portions
Getting used to eating smaller portions will help you stay within the right calorie bracket.
This will help even without consciously having to count calories down to the last leaf.
Counting calories is supposed to make you more aware of your portions. When you limit your portions, you almost have half of the job done.
10. Know Which Food Groups to Eat More Of
Some food groups are so high in calories. Others are so low they are almost negligible when compared to the number of calories your body burns when digesting them.
Increase your intake of low-calorie filling foods. That way, you’ll be able to stay full without consuming excess calories.
11. It Is Not A Competition
Staying within your calorie limit does not make you victorious, and not achieving it does not make you a failure.
Let go of the competitive attitude if you want to count calories for weight loss and not hate life.
12. It Should Never Be Your Long-Term Plan
Counting calories should be temporary, there is no way you should spend the rest of your life doing food math.
It should help you know your daily dietary needs. After a few weeks in you will be able to tell what the right portions are and what to substitute high-calorie foods with.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day being mindful of one’s calorie intake is a bold step towards weight loss.
Still, there is a fine line between being mindful and being obsessive. You need to keep this balance by going into counting calories for the right reasons, so you do not resent it.
Just because you’re counting calories doesn’t mean you should avoid exercise. Doing these 15-minute fat-burning workouts will skyrocket your fat loss while counting calories.