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Manic Monday - Calorie counting

Math was one of my favorite subjects in school. In fact, I still enjoy working with numbers. I love establishing budgets, calculating our banking accounts, and counting calories. But if you are like some people I know, those things I just listed are dreadful tasks. Calorie consumption is an unknown number to many for the fact I listed above. Many of us have a way of mentally processing what our calories are by practicing the thought that calories are "out of sight so therefore out of mind." Most of the time we don't pay attention to the calories we consume. We might initially when we pick up a package at the grocery store. But it's funny, because we will buy something based on the nutritional value on the label at the store and then we open the package and end up eating 3 servings instead of the one-serving-calorie content we originally bought the food item for. Well folks, to lose weight and/or gain muscle, YOU MUST know your calorie consumption and expenditure. It's like a banking account. If you don't ledger what you deposit into the account and what you spend out of the account then chances are you are going to run into some real problems. I don't know anyone in my arena who is financially sound without keeping a good record of their finances. The same goes with healthy lifestyles. Every client I have worked with will tell you that their awareness of caloric intake and expenditure is crucial to their success of achieving their goals. This goes for weight loss, athletes (endurance and strength), and those who are trying to gain muscle. Just like a banking account, you get better and efficient over time. You start "working smarter and not harder!" (One of my life quotes!) What do you do to start a caloric accounting process? Well, first....I seriously challenge you to take 3 days of writing down EVERYTHING that enters through your mouth. This should include your portion/serving size, calories, saturated fat, carbohydrates, proteins, and sugars. Ledger all of these so you can reference back to your journaling when I discuss more in detail regarding different types of calorie sources (in the next few weeks). Include your beverages too. If you want to include more details you can write down your sodium, other vitamins, etc. At the end of the day, total your calories (and other information). Next, figure out your basic metabolic rate (the minimal amount of calories you need to function/fuel your body properly). Most devices such as the Garmin, Polar, and Fitbit calculate this for you. Another way to calculate an estimate of this number is to use this equation: 661 + (4.38 x your weight in lbs.) + (4.38 x your height in inches) - (4.7 x your age) = your BMR BMR is the minimal amount of calories you need to sustain a good metabolism. Anything lower will cause your body to go into a starvation-type mode which essentially will cause your body to slow down the metabolism process. Now, take your BMR and factor in your current activity, which we will call BMR+A (basic metabolic rate with activity), using the following: Sedentary BMR x 1.15 Light activity ( normal, everyday tasks) BMR x 1.3 Moderate activity (exercise 3-4 times per week). BMR x 1.4 Very active (exercise 4-6 times per week) BMR x 1.6 Extremely active (exercise 6-7 times per week) BMR x 1.8 This number, based on activity (BMR+A), is the amount of calories you need to sustain your current weight. If you are wanting to lose weight, you need to consume less than this number, BUT more than your BMR. To gain weight, you need to consume more than this number (BMR+A). So give this caloric counting a whirl. Just for a week. You have a ledger and you have some equations to work with. I think you will be amazed at just how much or how little you consume. Of course this is just one tool to use, but it's a great eye opener for those who have the mentality of calories being "out of sight (not really knowing the caloric content), out of mind ." I look forward to sharing more and hearing your story! Have a comment or question? Please connect with us!! Have a GREAT week and enjoy your blessings! Rachel Zimmerman, Certified Personal Trainer and Life Coach ACE/NSCA Wife, Mother, and Friend

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