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 2 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. 🙂
Calorie counting is comprised of two elements:
- A) Gauging approximately how many calories you burn in a given day, and
- B) Setting a total calorie maximum for how many calories you will take in during a 24 hour time frame.
This is a very controlled method for managing caloric input – not eating anything unless you know how many calories it will add to your daily total. That means… if you’re planning to visit a restaurant? You’d better google those nutritional values for their dishes, and pick a dish that will keep you under your caloric intake.
Conscious eating, and the power of “No”
This also requires a LOT of consciousness. It forces you to consider the things you eat every day – every… day – without thinking. Do you leave the house in search of the nearest Starbucks to get your morning Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino? Well, if you’re calorie counting, you’d have to consider that your morning drink (not even food!) costs you 750 calories, 120grams of sugars, and 15grams of fat. Say you don’t hit Starbucks in the morning. Instead, you give yourself an extra 20 minutes and hit up McDonalds for a Deluxe Breakfast. Calorie counting? You’d need to know – in advance – that this entire meal just cost you 1,370 calories, 161grams of carbohydrates, and 64.5grams of fat (consider that, on average, MY fat intake value for a person 6′ fall at ~200lbs is no more than 80grams… that’d leave me 15.5 grams to enjoy the rest of the day!) without even mentioning the 2,335mg of sodium. McDonalds’ would’ve screwed up your whole calorie day! You would’ve been inhaling kool-aid packets all day for sustenance!
Calorie counting requires a LOT of what I refer to when I say conscious consumerism. It means taking 10 seconds to think about what you’re preparing to do before you do it. Did a co-worker come over to your desk and ask you to dip out with her and dine at Macaroni Grill after work? Is your favorite dish the Parmesan Crusted Sole? Well how, exactly, does 2,190 calories, 141grams of fat, and 145grams of carbohydrates fit into your total caloric intake? Do you think you can go without ordering your favorite dish out of habit? You spot that the Pollo Magro is only 320 calories.. could you commit yourself to ordering that instead? Can you be honest with yourself and say “No” if you really can’t do it? Do you have the wherewithal to tell your co-worker “No” if you know the temptation is too great?
Trust me, it takes about ten seconds to run this scenario through your mind one good time, if you’re being honest with yourself. And I’ll admit it – in the beginning of MY experience with calorie counting, I had to learn the QUICK way how to simply say “No.” It might even make you feel like you’re talking to yourself… and then you might feel awkward because you actually respond, but it’s for the better. That “No” is important, because it is FAR easier than “Let me get an Egg McMuffin (300 calories, 12g fat, 30g carbohydrates – less fat than that Starbucks drink that I mentioned up there) instead of that big giant dish of pancakes… mmm, with that syrup… oh, and that hash brown? Hmm…” Please believe, in 2 seconds flat, it turns into “Actually, let me just get the Deluxe Breakfast instead.” You must be at the ready. No auto-pilot. You must always be conscious.
Calorie counting requires that you take a long…hard…look at the foods you’re eating at home. Lots of microwaveables? Calorie counting demands that you take a hard look at each item. Could you make this better at home? If not – and that’s OK if you can’t – would you be better off with another dish, instead? Look long and hard and the caloric values on that nutrition label. Does it say 1 serving is equal to 400 calories? If so, does it say that there are actually TWO servings in the entire dish? You know, the dish packaged like it’s made for only one person? You have to be conscious!
Looking for other posts in the Understanding Calorie Counting series? Check the links below!
- Understanding Calorie Counting: The Basics
- Understanding Calorie Counting: What is it? Calorie Counting Defined
- Understanding Calorie Counting: Creating Your Calorie Goal and Being Honest About It
- Understanding Calorie Counting: The Payoff – Why Am I Doing This To Myself?
- Understanding Calorie Counting: Preparing Yourself For Success
- Understanding Calorie Counting: A Final Word