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How Do You Count Calories?

By: Sydney Tyler

Break Studios Contributing Writer

How do you count calories? Good question. If you want to lose weight, counting calories can be very helpful. A calorie is simply a unit of food energy. Use simple mathematics to figure out how many calories you want to consume. It takes 3,500 extra calories to gain a pound and it takes a 3,500 calorie deficit to lose a pound. The number of calories you need to consume depends on how big you are, and how big you want to be.

To count calories, you will need:

• A calorie counter book
• A calorie counter website or calorie counter software application
1. As a man, multiply your ideal body weight by fifteen if you are very active. This will tell you approximately how many calories you need each day. Multiply your ideal body weight by thirteen if you are more sedentary. If you are not at your ideal weight now, just start eating the calories for that ideal body weight to attain it over time. If you want, you can use much longer, more complicated calorie equations to figure out how to count calories. The Harris-Benedict formula and the Katch-McArdle formula are two options; look them up on the internet, and calculate away.
2. Use food labels to know how many calories you are consuming. Be careful that you figure out how much one portion is, according to the label. Use a calorie counter book, a calorie counter website or another type of calorie counter software application to look up and keep track of the calories in what you eat.
3. Measure ingredients and portions of food at home. Learn to estimate portion sizes when you are eating away from home. Three ounces of meat is as big as a deck of cards. One cup is about the size of a clenched fist. A quarter cup is about the size of a golf ball.
4. Record the calories you consume each day. Keep track of your consumption in a paper journal, on the internet or on your smartphone.
Posted on: Sep. 12, 2010