Calorie Counting For Real

You may remember that in January that I, along with some of you, did the 21 Day Challenge. Part of the challenge was a commitment to a healthier lifestyle. Using myfitnesspal.com I lost 8 lbs. in a week. No lie. Of course since then I’ve fluctuated that weight from gaining a bit back to losing it, but I will say it was pretty easy to lose the weight. It was also easy to put it back on once I stopped counting my calories. I never realized that writing down and keeping track of everything that goes in my mouth was that important. I figured I could ball park it and still lose the weight. Wrong. Really wrong. The truth is that the calories you consume each day can either help you lose the weight or gain more weight all within a matter of 100 calories. Just for some perspective, I could grab three handfuls of pretzels while cooking dinner and go over my daily caloric needs without even thinking about it. I just grabbed a few handfuls right?

It really does boil down to a science if you think about it.

If I want to weigh 120 lbs then I need to eat like I weigh 120 lbs and then stick to it.

Once you decide what weight you would like to become, figure out your BMR. BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate, and it calculates the number of calories you’d burn if you stayed in bed all day. Of course, I don’t plan on staying in bed all day, but I think of any exercise I do during the day as a bonus. I do not add calories to the BMR for excercise. Find your BMR here.

So back to those extra 100 calories…

I’m a 24 year old female and am 5’5. If I want to weigh 120 lbs, according to the BMR calculator, I can consume 1369.7 calories in a day to weigh 120 lbs. I also typed in 140 lbs just to see how many calories I would need to maintain at that weight…and got 1456.7 calories a day. That is only a difference of 87 calories! That means if I consistently eat those extra handfuls of pretzels each day I could end up weighing 20 lbs more than without the mindless snack! Crazy right?

I highly recommend opening an account on myfitnesspal.com or keeping a detailed food journal. Not knowing exactly what you are putting in your mouth each day can cost you 20 extra pounds.

I don’t know about you, but I just want to lose it.

*Note* If you are a breastfeeding mother please make sure to add at least 350 calories to your daily caloric intake. You can read more about Breastfeeding and Weight Loss here.

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