Limiting the amount of calories you’re getting on a daily basis is one of the most recommended things when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off. However, while it can play a role in your weight management, it simply isn’t as simple as that. A calorie is merely a measurement of energy. So calories are just a way to tell how much energy you’re feeding into your body and not always the best way to determine how much weight you’ll be able to lose.
Every Person is Different
One of the main reasons calorie counting isn’t as effective as some would have you believe is that everyone is different. Counting calories doesn’t actually tell you how many calories end up being absorbed and how many end up in your blood stream. The truth is that if you and another person were to eat the exact same thing, you both would absorb a different amount of minerals, fats and vitamins into the body – depending on your body. Your body may absorb more fat and lead to weight gain, while the other person’s body may not absorb as much as the fat.
Good Calories, Bad Calories?
Counting calories doesn’t take into consideration the quality of food that you’re eating, either. Think about it… is the same amount of calories from ice cream or soda the same quality of calories if you were to eat the exact same amount of calories that comes from lean fish or chicken? Of course not. At one time, it was believed to be the same. Health experts would tell you calories are calories and that’s that. But today we know better. The type of foods you’re eating plays a much larger role in your weight loss than simply the number of calories that you eat.
Body Fat Percentage and Food Journals
Today we know that there are much better options for tracking and managing your weight loss. One of the most helpful and accurate ways of doing so is through keeping track of your body fat percentage. If your body fat percentage stays the same or particularly, if it rises – then there’s probably some dietary changes that should be made. If your body fat percentage is going down then you’re on the right track.
How do you keep track of things? Something a lot of people do is to keep a food journal each day. In your journal you should be writing down everything that you eat. Then when you check your body fat percentage, you can compare it to what you’re eating and more easily see where changes should be made and how effective your food choices are.
Using Body Mass Index
Another method to track things that’s better than strict calorie counting is to track your body mass index. Body mass index is referred to as BMI. It isn’t an exact science, but for the majority of people it’s pretty close and provides a pretty accurate way to measure your weight loss progress.