April 11, 2011

Calorie Counting

As far as methods for weight loss go, I prefer calorie counting. Actually, I love it because I'm not restricted from eating any type of food I desire. The only restriction comes with the daily calorie limit.

I check out CalorieKing.com or FitnessMagazine.com and use their caloric needs calculators to determine how many calories I need daily depending on my activity level just to maintain my current weight. Then I subtract a few hundred from that so that I lose weight. It's just simple math.

Most foods have nutrition information and tell you how much a serving is. But sometimes the serving size can be vague, like with raisins. A quarter cup of raisins is 130 calories, but they're kind of squishy, you can really smash more than that below the 1/4 cup measuring line. :-) But knowing that 40 grams is the exact weight, really keeps you on target, if, you have a scale. And the same with shredded cheese, which tends to pack on the calories quick or even grapes and chocolate chips that don't have an even line and leave spaces and gaps when measuring. I get a headache just thinking about it.

Months ago I won a giveaway on Callie's blog for a gift card to CSN online store and got a scale. This has been the most wonderful thing to help me calculate the calories in all the food I prepare at home! Before the scale, I would add up all the calorie quantities for every ingredient in my food, then divide by cup (like for soup) or into a fraction (like a casserole in a 13 x 9 dish). It was hard and stressful because I might measure the divisions wrong, then the fraction portion sizes would not be equal and I knew that I wasn't getting an accurate measurement.

But now I just weigh the finished product and divide the total number of calories by the total number of food weight in ounces to get the number of calories per ounce. Then decide how many ounces I want to eat and I can change my serving size depending on how hungry I am! It's so much easier and faster! All you need is a regular calculator and internet access to a database like CalorieKing or LiveStrong.com and you're good to go. Here's my calculation for Triple Chocolate Cake -- ooh, so satisfying!

I won't be shy. I gained about 35 lbs. during my last pregnancy. I was 200 lbs. total when I delivered Shiphrah August 17th. (I know I didn't quite look it - I'm big-boned, muscular and was very swollen.) Now I weigh about 50 lbs. less by breast feeding, exercising (I love running!) and counting calories. As I lost weight, I would cut more calories too. I hope to lose another 10 pounds soon. If you want to lose weight and still eat every food you love, count your calories. You can do it.

1 comment:

The Shadburn Family said...

Way to go, Megan!