As of about ten years ago, I’ve tried to eat healthy.  I was not strict with it by any means, but I became more aware of the food I ate.  But, if you read my previous post on how I started running and exercising, you’ll learn that just ‘eating healthy’ did not keep me ‘healthy’ so to speak, much less, keep the weight off.

I’ve never been a fan of dieting, because diets are temporary.  Dieting also instructs and orders us on foods that we can’t have.  And if you’re like me…show me anything I can’t have and I’ll want it that much more.

Also, just as soon as you stop ‘dieting’  what are you supposed to do then, start eating junk again?  And with that, the unwanted weight usually returns.  I just don’t get it.

One thing that I have found that does work is calorie counting.  I know this totally from personal experience.

I also believe that once you start, it  becomes more of a habit.  Then even when you’re not trying, you’re still more aware of just how many calories you consume per day.  And that, my internet friends leads to a healthier way of thinking and hopefully, a healthier lifestyle.

Get it?

Calorie counting is really a lot easier than you think.  But it was a serious eye-opener of the amount of calories I was consuming from foods that I thought was ‘healthy’.  And even foods that are genuinely healthy, they may be loaded with calories.  And while certain foods are actually good for you, it’s something to consider if you’re specifically trying to lose weight.

Another great reason to count calories is that you don’t need any fancy or expensive equipment to do it.  You’re also not going to have to make several runs to different grocery stores all over town trying to find certain ‘diet-y’ foods.

All you need is pen and paper to write down everything you eat.  This is the only way it’s going to work: commit yourself to writing everything down.

Good enough?

The first thing you need to do is determine how much weight you want to lose (typical healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week) in a certain amount of time (a week, a month, a year-you decide).  I found that making short term goals worked better for me.  Then all the short term goals add up a one long-term result.  🙂

Secondly, you’ll need to determine how many calories to eat on a daily basis to lose that weight.

Just do a simple Google search to find many sites that figure this for you.  I use the Lose It iPhone app, but here is one I also found on my own Google search.

So, how do you know how many calories is in the foods you’ll eat?  Food Labels.  Read the food labels.  You can also Google just about any food to find out its calorie count.  Lemme’ tell ya:  I was crazy surprised at some of the foods I was eating and I feel like you will be quickly surprised, too!  It didn’t take me long to realize that the juices and lemonade I drank on a regular basis was using up a lot of my calorie intake for the day, so I began drinking water as my drink of choice.  🙂

Another great thing about this is that the more exercise you add everyday adds more calories to your budget everyday.  Cool, huh?  That’s why exercise is so important to add, because you’ll burn more calories and therefore, lose your weight easier.

My calorie intake per day was 1400.  But when I added a 30 minute workout or walk to my journal, that was about 200 calories I could add back to my total.

Think about your calorie intake as a budget and consider just how you want to spend your budget.

You’ll quickly find foods that you can eat more of and become more satiated with, rather than junking on a smaller portion that may be loaded with calories.

And last, but not least, share your journal with other people.  It really helps if you’re doing it with a friend or simply sharing with a friend.  For one, it helps keep you accountable and secondly, it offers you encouragement.

I’d love to know if you thinking of trying it!

Let me know if you have any questions.  I’m no dietitian or expert on the subject by any means, but I’m also happy to offer you help and encouragement along the way.

My breakfast this morning:  Kashi Go Lean Crunch topped with dried Craisens and Vanilla Soy Milk = 315 calories.

Keep in mind also that you don’t have to have the full serving size.  For example, I could have cut my cereal serving down by a 1/2 cup which would have also cut my milk serving down, therefore cut my calories down.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Happy Monday!

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