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Counting calories: The most important factor in losing weight

Photo of a calorie counting app on a mobile phone with some food in the background

Counting calories is something more and more people are investing time in. The reason is simple: it works! By ascertaining your daily requirement of calories you can keep a tab of how much or how little you are eating, usually too much!

To calculate your daily required calories use this formula:

weight in kilograms multiplied by 25, this will give you your BMR (basal metabolic rate) that’s how many calories your body needs to perform basic functions such as breathing. So assuming you weigh 100 kilos the formula would look like this:

100 x 25 = 2500 Kcals (calories) per day

From this we can now say that in order to lose weight we need to reduce the amount of calories by roughly 500 per day. This can be done by reducing your daily food intake by 500 calories or by using the method I prefer which is burning 250 calories through exercise and the other 250 through reduced food intake. You can of course burn more than 250 and reduce your food intake by more than 250, this is just a guide and I would recommend doing at the least 500 calories per day reduction. I would also recommend gradually increasing the amount of exercise, both in duration and frequency to yield the very best results. I use this system with clients and it really works well.

By reducing your calorie intake by 500 calories per day you can expect to lose roughly 1 – 3 pounds of body fat per week. This is classed as a healthy amount. Should you lose much more than that it’s great to tell your friends but may not be healthy weight loss. You might actually be losing water, and breaking down lean tissue (muscle).

Calorie counting apps

There are many apps available that help you count your calories and have many other feature such as recipes, and workouts. One of my favourites and most well established is my fitness pal click the link to download it here

it’s free to download and very easy to use. The barcode scanner is one of my favourite features, it allows you to scan your food and add it to your food diary. It will then take all the nutritional information and add it up. Genius!

Another important factor in counting calories is reading labels, and understanding them. If something is high in fat and sugar, try and avoid it. Always look for low fat and sugar options. This will help immensely. To see a more detailed insight into calories check out my blog here

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