Counting calories is a popular method for managing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But is it the right diet for you?

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What Are Calories?

Calories are units of energy that our bodies get from the food and drinks we consume. They fuel our activities, from the simple act of breathing to any strenuous activity like running.

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By tracking calories, you can control your weight. If you consume more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight. If you consume fewer, you’ll definitely lose weight. It helps you set and achieve specific health goals, such as losing weight or building muscle.

Awareness: Counting calories makes you more aware of what you eat, helping you make healthier choices.

How to Count Calories

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Here are three tips on counting calories:

  1. Read Labels: Food packages have calorie contents behind it, labeled as “Nutritional Value.” By reading the labels, you’ll not only get to know the calorie details but also the macro and micronutrients counted for each serving.
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2. Use a Calorie Counting App: Many smartphone apps can help you track your daily intake, such as  MyFitnessPal, Noom, and etc.

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3. Portion Control: Be mindful of portion sizes. Measuring cups and kitchen scales may not have the calorie details, but it can help you stay within your limits and have a calorie deficit.

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Pros and Cons of Counting Calories

Pros:

  • Precision: It gives you a clear picture of your intake.
  • Control: you can manage your diet more effective
  • Results: Many people see results such as weight loss and better health.

Cons:

  • Time-Consuming: It can feel tedious and time-consuming in the long-run especially since you have to be wary of the ingredients in a specific dish.
  • Stressful: Some people may find it stressful or obsessive, and can sometimes result in food disorders.
  • Not Always Accurate: Calorie counts on labels can be inaccurate especially when you consider the different manufacturers and producers of the ingredients.

Ask yourself if calorie counting is right for you? If yes, then you enjoy its structure and detailed tracking for you to meet your specific health goals. On the other hand, if you answered a big “No,” then here are a few alternatives to consider:

  • Be mindful of what you eat: Focus on hunger and fullness cues; most importantly, eat slowly and enjoy every bite and flavor.
  • Eat when you are hungry: Eat when you are hungry and stop when you’re full without strict tracking.
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Counting calories can be useful for many people, but it’s not the only way to manage your health. Consider your personality and lifestyle and choose an approach that feels right for you. Remember the best diet is one that you can maintain for a lifelong.


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