Wednesday

Is Counting Calories Worth It?


Calorie counting sounds awful and so restrictive which is why I refused to try it out for a long time. Recently I’ve decided to give it a shot for a few reasons.
1.       I eat different now that I got married! When I only looked out for my own eating, I didn’t even consider buying queso, I bought spinach, sardines, and other healthy foods that people thought were weird.  I used to live by saying I could eat as much of something that I wanted as long as it was healthy. I thought that if I was eating wholesome foods then my body would be nourished and I didn’t need to count calories if they were coming from good food. The thing is, I don’t eat just healthy food! I looove queso, burgers, ice cream, regular coke, and sweets and it is present in my kitchen now. Since my eating has changed from lots of healthy food to more normal person food, I had to start paying better attention (I also learned that even if I eat lots of healthy food, calories are calories and they still add up).  
2.       I don’t exercise like I used to! Now I have a job that allows me to sit on my booty allllll day. When I get home, I work around the house but I’m not intentionally getting in a lot of workouts. When I lived in an apartment with a workout room I used it often but now at our house I only have weights and the street outside to go walking or running. Now that it is winter it is too cold to go outside and I haven’t been going for walks or running like I did in the summer and fall.
3.       I don’t want weight to creep onto my body and then have to loose a bunch later in life. I hear the same story from a lot of women who are now in their 30’s 40’s or 50’s. They say they were skinny in their twenties but year by year the weight snuck on and never came off.
So, I downloaded the loseit! App on my iPhone so I can keep track of my calories each day. When I downloaded the app I put in my height, weight, and age and told it the weight I wanted to be. Then it calculated how many calories I am allotted for each day.

To keep track, every time I eat I enter what I had into my calorie counter. If I exercise I enter what I did.
The calorie counter tells you how many calories you are allowed to have for the rest of the day.

I have found that I am more careful about what I eat knowing how many calories are actually in it. Because my calories are limited I am always looking for food that I can eat a lot of without adding a lot of calories to my calorie counter. Some great choices are carrots, spinach, hummus, tuna, coffee, and unsweet tea (tea is 0 calories and I love tea).
I also allow myself two indulgences everyday but must budget for them in my calorie intake. Those include regular coke and ice cream. I get strong cravings for both everyday and feel deprived if I don’t get them. The ice cream is harder to budget for so I usually end up eating a small portion of ice cream but eat it slowly to enjoy it longer instead of eating a huge bowl.
The first week of calorie counting was hard. I felt a little deprived and struggled to feel like it was worth missing out on all of the food I could be eating!  After a week though, I felt good. I’m not hungry or deprived feeling. I look forward to my indulgences and savor them. Also, juuuust when you think, "Forget this! I'd rather stuff my face," you look in the mirror and think, "hmmm, I am looking pretty good, I guess this keeping my calorie count under control thing is working..."
In my own life, I have seen how weight can creep on. Since my freshman year of college I have put on about 15 pounds. I don’t look too different now but when I look back at pictures of myself in college I can see a difference.
I know I will thank myself later for taking care of my body and not giving up on keeping my eating under control. I would looove to eat a huge bowl of ice cream every night and chocolate candy throughout the whole day and never break a sweat working out. But, I know even a year from now I would be annoyed at myself for not taking better care of myself.
I plan on giving myself a break on Saturday/Sunday to not count every calorie but still mentally keep in mind how much I’m eating. Also vacations, my birthday, and Christmas will be days when I can go crazy and eat whatever and as much as I want.
I change my health and fitness strategies often with the seasons. The same thing doesn’t work for me year round but I think counting calories is here to stay for a long time.
Losing weight or maintaining weight is simple for me. Calories in have to only reach a certain level or my body can’ t use them all and it turns to fat. Calorie counting may not always be the most fun way to stay in shape but it is simple, cut, and dry.
Without the app on my phone I don’t think I would be as into calorie counting.
What about you? Would you ever consider counting calories and keeping track of everything you eat day to day? Is it worth it to you?
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