When it comes to calories consumed many of us are super confused. This is why we stick to diets like Slimming World, Weight Watchers and Juice Diets – because we don’t have to count calories and then it takes this problem away!
The only time it has ever been easy to count calories is when you have a ready meal, after all every bit of nutritional information is on the packaging, yet ready meals are really bad for your health!
Therefore the majority of us estimate what we are really having.
For example – I am a big fan of the television show “Secret Eaters” and even though a big part of the show is spying on people while they sneak into the local burger bar, a lot of the time it is because people just don’t understand calories in their food.
They guess how many calories are in things and forget that those tablespoons of olive oil or those heaps of butter do add up and they add up to a lot. Many will think that they consume 1200 calories a day, but in reality it is more like 2000. At the same time because often, if you have had weight problems you are likely to hit a wall with your diet and need to drop calories to lose weight, then you just end up with the same vicious cycle with your weight loss.
I know this because I find that if I stick to 1200-1300 calories a day, then my body is so used to it, that it doesn’t lose anything decent unless I either exercise more or drop below 1000.
But what if you think you are having 1500 calories a day and then it turns out that’s its more like 2000 with all the extras in your food?
This is when I suggest that you weigh out everything you have for a week, and then see how much it really is.
I have always wondered if I was doing it right so I decided to weigh out my lunch and this is what it was like:
Picture the scene…..you Google how many calories a piece of salmon is to have with your super healthy vegetables and you get your result:
It says that half a fillet is 412 calories and you think that’s about right and then you do similar searches for your vegetables at the same time.
Then think to yourself that sounds about right and your lunch has suddenly come in at 500 calories. And then you are following a 1200 calorie diet and then save the rest of the calories for later in the day.
But what if you weighed the salmon? And you work out that your piece of salmon actually weighs 65g (that’s the size Dominic & I each have for lunch) and this then comes in at 136 calories and this is quite a difference.
Then when you check out your vegetables and it is based on a medium size, it is hard to tell what really defines medium, and often what is best is to go back to the scales and look at the exact size of what you’re having.
Of course I have been estimating my calories in the wrong direction, but if you are not doing it properly you could find that you are eating way too many calories than you should be for weight loss.
I even suggest that you do this BEFORE you start a diet as its so much more interesting to see how many calories you are eating, just to see what you need to achieve to lose weight!