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 4 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. :)

What do you get from calorie counting, you may ask? Let me tell you what it did for me (really, that’s all I can do at this point, LOL.)

Calorie counting reinforced my ability to be a conscious consumer. Meaning, I am much more able, now, to really take a good hard look at what I’m eating and gauge exactly how much I’m putting into my mouth. I no longer have the insane portion distortion from which I used to suffer.

Calorie counting gave me the ability to say “No.” Checkers? “No.” Big greasy 2,000 calorie lo mein platter from PF Chang? “No.” Eating half a box of fried taquitos in one sitting? “No.” Firecracker Stuffed [with cheese and everything else under the kitchen sink and fried] Jalapenos wiiiiiiiiiiiiith the entire thing of Chili Con Queso (1,950 calories, 134g of fat, and 6,540 milligrams of sodium) from On the Border? “Hell No.” I haven’t even BEEN to Checkers in 7 months. I’m starting to think I’d like to keep it that way. My newly developed self control allows me to follow through on that thought.

Calorie counting taught me how to gauge what’s in what I’m eating, thanks to all the looking up I did. (Note: Mind you, I OD’d on the looking up, thanks to that Lose It! app for the iPhone/iTouch, of foods just because I could.. no one has to be that obsessive with it to be successful. Looking it up the night after is just as effective.) I can now gauge how many calories is in that alfredo dish at Olive Garden. I can guess how many calories are in that KFC macaroni salad. I now know to avoid most dishes with a creamy consistency because of the potential fat levels, and that’s without even looking it up. I now know to avoid most salads at restaurants without telling them “cheese, avocado, dressing, and any other fattening mess on the side, please.”

Calorie counting taught me how to be more aware of what I was feeding my family. Please believe that it’s made me a more watchful cook for the people who eat from my kitchen. This has resulted in us all becoming healthier.

Calorie counting has helped me to understand my limits. I can’t control myself when it comes to goldfish crackers. I can control myself if I have ginger snaps in the house. My daughter might despise me for not keeping goldfish in the house anymore, but she’s happy with how I doll up her ginger snaps. Less sodium for her, too.

Calorie counting made me aware of the empty calories I was eating or specifically for me… the empty calories I was drinking. I eventually gave up sodas, except for mixing them with my alcohol… but then I eventually gave up alcohol. I occasionally had pop when I had an ice cream float, but then I stopped eating so much ice cream! It just became less of an indulgence for me. If my favorite soda was 200 calories in each time I drank it, and I’m only allowed 400 calories for lunch… what on Earth am I supposed to eat with it? Two pieces of cardboard? Pfft!

As I think of more benefits, I’ll probably edit this and add more.

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