For our first series ever, Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss will be explaining calorie counting, and ways to win the war. This is post 3 of the series – post 1, Defining The Basics of Calorie Counting, can be found here. Comments are always welcomed, and questions will always be answered to the best of my ability. :)

1196242_96901825Keeping in mind those constants that I listed in the first installment, head over to this page and enter your information. It’ll tell you your estimated Body Mass Index (or BMI) – I know, cringeworthy, right? – as well as an estimated value for how many calories your body burns in a 24 hour time period. Then head over to this page, and do the same. Compare the two values for your daily calorie expenses, and take the lower of the values. Hold on to that number. Now, do a food journal for one day. Don’t try to eat “better” than you usually do.. just write down a day’s worth of what you’re eating. No calorie values yet.. just merely what you’re eating. During the next day (’cause doing it the same day just might depress you), sit down and google the caloric values of the foods you’re eating. Make sure you’re sitting in a leveled chair when you do… because you might just tip over.

Compare the number of calories your body burns in a 24 hour period to the amount of calories you took in during a 24 hour period. Think about the days you’ve eaten more than you did the day you wrote everything down. Think about the foods you might’ve intentionally left off the list as a means of cushioning your ego. Think about how often you eat more than what you wrote down. Is it pretty darn often? Think about the days where you eat nothing but fast food. Is your calorie count up near the 3,000s? Is it IN the 3,000s?

Setting the goal

Going back to that calorie count… take a look at that number you came up with. Weight loss is about creating a deficit – more calories burned than taken in. If you’re maintaining the weight you’ve put on, it’s because this deficit doesn’t exist. You’re either nor burning enough calories, or you’re eating too many calories. Having said that, if you create a deficit of 500 calories a day (meaning, if you eat 500 calories less than you “usually” do), you will lose 1lb a week. Create a deficit of 1000 calories a day, you will lose 2lbs (1000 calories multiplied by 7 days a week: 1000 x 7 = 7000 divided by 3500 calories in one pound equals 2lbs.) If you create a deficit of 1000 calories, and burn 500 a day walking/running, you will lose 3lbs per week (1500 x 7 divided by 3500). I’m suuure you get my drift, right? The better you plan, the better you prepare, the more likely you are to succeed.

Be honest with yourself

I’ve read several books about scientific studies in relation to obesity and they tend to say, in short: “In efforts to attempt to track the eating habits of overweight and obese individuals, we gave them a journal to document their daily intake of food. Considering the number of methods used to monitor intake, it was easy to determine that overweight people were more likely to lie about not only what they’d eaten, but how much of it they’d eaten.”

I don’t mention that as a put down – I mention that because I know I did it, and didn’t even know it. It’s another method of consciousness. It’s also another reason to make SURE you’re being honest with yourself. It’s vital to know what you’re putting in your body, so that you know what kind of dragon you need to slay. Lying to yourself might save your ego, but it does nothing for the rest of you, especially your weight.

It’s ok to admit you have very little control over your eating habits – it’s ok to admit that your discipline might be lacking. There is an industry that makes billions off of your inability to control yourself, and they have millions invested in ensuring that you never get it. It’s ok to admit that this beast is on your back. This, here, will help you gain control… and it starts with being honest with yourself.

Looking for other posts in the Understanding Calorie Counting series? Check the links below!