You can meticulously count every single Jelly Bean or lick of peanut butter you’ve had, then calculate the number of calories you’ve burned to offset them. But this actually hurts your weight loss efforts (and sanity) more than it helps. Here’s why you shouldn’t rely on “calories in” and “calories out”.
While many of these points are valid, I think a better way to summarize this is that many people misstate their calories when calorie counting and not as much that there are inherent problems with calorie counting. It takes discipline not only to eat better, but to track it all as well. If you start to take shortcuts on tracking or are being liberal with how big that scoop of peanut butter is that you counted as one serving, then you’re only doing it to yourself.
Calorie counting isn’t for everyone, but it can work for the right type of people.
If software is needlessly complex and tedious, almost no one is going to use it. This fundamental tenant of technology has been one of the biggest barriers for any kind of widespread embrace of calorie tracking. Researchers at MIT are looking to change things with a new voice-activated prototype for logging nutrition.
Really neat, but the issue I run into often is home cooked recipes. Diet trackers work great for pre-packaged processed foods, or single source foods (like apple) but haven’t got a clue when you go to recipes, especially if it’s your own recipe.
You can’t eat total crap and then bust your butt exercising to magically erase those calories: It’s not that simple. If you want to make longer lasting, healthier changes, what and how much you eat is far more important than how much you exercise.
I could not figure out what I was doing wrong until I started thinking about my eating habits. I confess – they were not they were not up to par. Only then did I understand that a workout was ~20% of the fitness goal, and the rest was my diet.
Let’s first clarify that meal replacement shakes are not to be confused with protein shakes, though the differences are nit-picky: a meal replacement shake typically has between 200-500 calories and tick off a bunch of nutritional checkmarks with added vitamins, minerals, fiber, and some protein.
Please be careful with shakes, powders, and the like. The regulation on the supplement industry is pretty much nonexistent. The best case scenario is that the company does not include the ingredient listed in its advertising, but there are numerous instances of customers sending out their powders for testing and finding harmful ingredients.
Claims of products and programs that will allow you to lose a pound a day are rampant, often accompanied by the smug visage of Dr. Oz and seen in the magazine rack at your grocery store checkout, but in the above case it was actually feasible, because the man in question started at a weight of over 600 pounds, and he spent those 200 days in a tightly controlled “camp” environment where all his exercise and eating was carefully monitored, motivated, and measured.
When it comes to weight loss, people often think that you need to spend countless hours in the gym, pounding away at the treadmill while you watch reruns of How I Met Your Mother. Not only do you not need much time in the gym, it might be optimal to spend it elsewhere. Here’s why.
But if it makes you happy, you can do it. The only exercise plan that’s right for you is the one you can stick to where you do something.
If you’re struggling with exercise, try to keep that in mind. If you despise your workout, then you need to find something else. Clinical studies aside, anything you’ll actually do consistently is going to be more effective than anything you don’t.
When you start a diet, determining how much to eat can feel a bit like playing calorie roulette. Many people turn to a calorie calculator, but they can greatly overestimate the amount of food that you need to lose weight. Here’s how to calculate your own target.
The article is quite comprehensive – it’s not a quick read.
The whole conversation around weight loss and diet is nuanced, complicated, and not easily parsed. All you’ll get are personal testimonials and I’ve discovered that the only thing that’s worked for me is to figure out what worked for me. But I keep compiling the various articles to glean what I can from them to improve.