Count your calories!
I think that most people, who have dieted at some point in life, have been told this.
Recent studies have shown that people, who self-monitor their calories tend to have a greater weight loss (Burke). Still, there seems to be some hesitation towards keeping track of what you eat. When I ask people why they don’t like to keep track of their calories, some of the usual responses are:
“It will take too much time”, “I won’t remember to write everything down”, “It’s just not fun to do”. To a point, I would agree.
Traditionally, writing everything down in a notebook requires some time; remembering to write all your meals and snacks down often takes away from the thrilling experience of enjoying our food.
Now you can toss those pencils aside because calorie counting takes on a whole new spin today.
More and more people are now logging their daily calories via their tablets and smartphones with calorie counting apps that have online journals. These apps help you to conveniently add up all your foods on the go. A few clicks and your whole meal is tallied up! No writing utensils needed, no scraps of paper with yesterday’s lunch being found in your back jeans pocket. Everything is accessible in one place and kept safe for you to access privately 24/7.
Why should you count your calories?
People who count calories have more control of what they eat and their portion sizes. Calorie counting gives you insight into your own weight loss and maintenance.
A healthy weight loss is 0.5-2 pounds per week. Each pound of fat equals about 3,500 calories, so to lose 0.5-2 pounds per week; you need a calorie reduction of 1,750- 7,000 calories per week (250-1,000 calories/day).
Guessing how many calories are in foods you eat isn’t accurate because most people will underestimate what they eat each day. Using a good calorie counter can help you track all the calories you eat during the day and help you stay on track with your calorie budget.
So, how do you choose the best app in a calorie counting app search overload? I recommend previewing certain features on these apps before you download them.
- There are many great calorie counting apps that are free. I’m going to have a hard time recommending you spend money on one. Free apps have an advertisement at the bottom of the screen, but I have never found it invasive enough to spend $4.99 for the same functionality.
- Great apps will not only track calories, but macro and micronutrients such as total fat, carbohydrates, sodium, and cholesterol.
- Look for customizable features that let you adjust your calorie needs, your desired weight loss, and even help track your weekly or monthly weight progress.
- The app should have a large, organized, easy-to-read food list to choose from. It should also allow you to add your own foods if they are not otherwise available.
- Look for apps that will continually update. Companies will frequently update their features – smoothing out software bugs and making the app more aesthetically pleasing along the way.
- Look for four and five-star ratings. Are most of the comments positive? If so, give it a try. If it’s not the right one for you, you can always delete it and try another well-rated one.
With technology’s progress and a little research on your part, tracking your calories is now a simple process!