Count me in: Tricks to make calorie tracking easy

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When it comes to counting calories, we’re all guilty of fibbing – that’s the verdict of recent local and international studies into the effectiveness of dieters estimating and tracking their intake.

According to the UK and Australian data, people underestimate their energy intake and exaggerate energy expenditure. While some of us purposefully fudge the figures, many unintentionally get their maths muddled.

Regardless of our reputation as crumby calorie counters, the fact remains that monitoring ‘energy in’ versus ‘energy out’ is the most effective means of managing weight.

But let’s face it, tracking calories is tricky, time-consuming and, quite frankly, boring.

And what the heck is a calorie anyway?

We’re here to help with a three-second explanation of the key facts.

In science speak, calories are the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius. Translated into useful language, calories are a measure of the energy content of foods and beverages.

On the surface, the scientific ‘energy balance’ formula seems straightforward – if you take in more calories than you need on a daily basis, then the excess calories are stored as extra weight.

On average, males who have a healthy balanced diet should be aiming to consume around 2,500 calories per day, whilst the target intake for females is 2,000. The exact number of calories you need, however, will depend on a number of different factors, including your gender, age, weight and activity level.

To determine your specific energy needs and stay on top of your calorie counting, our tip is to outsource the task to a tech assistant – that is, an online tracking app such as My Fitness Pal.

As well as being super convenient, such apps are more accurate measurers of energy input and output than humans and you can monitor your ‘status’ in real time.

Finally, remember that the quality of your diet still matters, and 100 calories of lettuce is not the same as 100 calories of chocolate. Slendier’s product range features organic, low calorie options for people watching their weight, including noodles and pasta substitutes containing a mere 12 calories per serve.

 

Photo credit: @happyveganfit

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