Why I Count Calories

This morning was very frustrating for me. Typically, I wake up first thing and weigh myself. Yes I know you’re not supposed to do that but it’s what keeps me motivated and at this point it’s become a habit. Expecting to see at least a one pound loss from the previous morning, what I saw made me very angry…..A one pound GAIN. What the heck?! The scale has to be broken, right? After all, I worked out like crazy yesterday and ate pretty well (so I thought).

To be honest, I haven’t tracked my daily calories in while. I had reached the point where eating became routine, so why track what I already knew? WRONG!  To figure out where I went wrong I logged on to my old friend www.LiveStrong.com (I highly suggest this site) and began to track what I ate yesterday, starting with breakfast.

As you can see my first two meals are just plum crazy. I always try to eat a large breakfast as a “pre-workout” meal but this is a little much. That’s just way too much fat and sugar that early in the morning. Lunch wasn’t really all that bad especially for a “post workout” meal as your body needs the protein and carbs to recover but there is room for adjustment.

The snack was consumed over a 9 hour work day. I keep a bottle of Peanut butter at my desk to help with the cravings but I’m finding that instead of grabbing a spoonful here and there, I’m taking 2-3 spoonfuls. It’s now in a cabinet in the break room…The mini muffins were a weak moment. My office always has food lying around and sometimes my stomach wins the battle.

Dinner was perfect in my opinion. Low in fat, extremely low in carbs and a great source of protein and vitamins. I typically eat this meal once a day and have yet to get bored with it.

I got off work at 9 pm, went home and had what I thought was a food headache. You know… that throbbing feeling you get when you “just didn’t eat enough”. So instead of going for a healthy option I “thought” Honeynut Cheerios would be a good choice…WRONG.

So lets take a look at my daily break down

The numbers on the bottom are the amounts based off my BMR. (find out about what your BMR is here)

As you can tell, I went over every “goal” by a good bit. The ones I’m not worried about are Cholesterol and Fiber. I typically don’t consume 3 eggs every day and you really can’t get too much fiber (gotta stay regular, right?). Of course, I have to watch my fat, sodium and sugar intake. If I want my body to burn fat, I certainly can’t ADD to the problem.

The main point in all this is that I was eating 1000 calories over what I should be eating and 1200 over what I THOUGHT I was consuming. Unfortunately, the scale isn’t broken. Honestly, I hate counting calories but if my plan is continue to lose weight, tracking what I eat is essential. I also need to do a better job of spreading my meals throughout the day. 500-600 calories per meal and 2 snacks at about 200 cal a piece should be my goal. 

If you’re not counting calories or at least paying attention to what you’re eating, chances are you probably aren’t getting the right results. Remember perception isn’t reality and your diet is 90% of losing weight.. Knowing what you eat, how much and when to eat it is the difference between success and failure.

I really hope this helped..

Be well,

Lyell

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4 thoughts on “Why I Count Calories

  1. I get lost if I don’t count calories. However, they are the only thing I keep track of (i.e. no keeping up with sodium, carbs, etc.). Keep those calories under control, and get those workouts in. You do that, and you’ll be fine. Don’t lose faith in yourself and your ability to master your body, its cravings and weaknesses.

    • Agreed. I know I’m too hard on myself. It’s something I’m working on. The only thing outside of calories i really track are my fat and sodium. I have found that Sodium is a huge part of weight loss.

  2. Lyell

    I have no issue with your counting calories — more info is better than less when it comes to weight loss.

    However — you problems are not with the calorie consumption they are with the TIMING

    SPECIFIC EXAMPLES

    Stop eating breakfast before you work out — just have some green tea or black coffee — the carbs you eat before breakfast are exactly what you burned during the workout–a breakeven at best — no carbs in your system at workout = FAT BURNING ALL WORKOUT LONG

    Carbs after dinner – stop that too — you had the PERFECT dinner–couldn’t agree more — you were getting rid of all the fast burning carbs and moving into fat burning–then you ate the carbs (Cheerios) and your body started using those for energy and stopped the entire fat burning process–probably throughout your sleep time as well.

    Eating timing takes regular adjustments — you can keep focusing on the calories and I say you will always wrestle with it — or you can learn to time your foods to match your bodies natural metabolic cycle and lose all the weight you want eating just as much as you did yesterday.

    You know from our prior correspondence I really want to help you I would be willing to guide you RIGHT HERE ON YOUR BLOG — FREE OF CHARGE –if you’ll continue to blog about the experience (say a weekly update at least) and help me continue to prove the power of EET (eating and exercise timing).

    Just let me know– if not, you know I wish you the best of luck and will continue to offer pointers whenever I see you struggling unnecessarily — but we can save a lot of TIME (haha) if you just come to the “dark side” and become an EETer!

    Best

    Jon
    EET Fitness

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