You want to lose weight, so what do you do? You work out like crazy and try to eat a sensible diet. But for some reason, week after week, the scale says the same thing. You just can’t seem to lose the weight no matter how hard you try. So what’s the deal? Why isn’t the weight melting off like you imagined it would?
Sometimes what we imagine a “sensible” diet to be really isn’t that sensible. For example, you might think that just because you had a salad for lunch, you’ve been eating healthily. Salads can be low in calories if you just eat the lettuce. But, let’s be honest, nobody does that. Once you add cheese, croutons, and a whole bunch of salad dressing, your “sensible” lunch is no longer sensible. Then, later in the evening when you’re trying to decide if you can have that piece of chocolate cake, you remember the “healthy” lunch you had and figure you can reward yourself by eating the cake.
Another problem is that we are frequently eating much more than we think we are. We might think we’re pouring ourselves ⅔ cup of cereal in the morning (like the serving size on the label suggests,) but if we were to measure it out we may find that we are actually eating closer to 2 cups of cereal.
So what can you do to fix this? The key to making sure that you are actually eating a sensible diet is to track everything you eat. This may sound like a pain but it’s actually quite simple. Instead of looking at nutrition labels and trying to figure out how many calories you’ve eaten, now there are so many resources where you can just plug in your meals online and your calorie count will be generated for you automatically. There are so many websites that are available to help you track your calories throughout the day, and most of them are free. Myfitnesspal, Lose It, and Dailyburn are just a few of the big ones. My favorite is myfitnesspal. I even have the app on my phone so I can track what I’m eating anywhere, anytime. It makes it so easy for me to keep track of how much I am eating throughout the day and to be more conscientious about what I am putting into my body.
The tracking websites are nice because they tell you how many calories you should be taking in each day in order to lose a certain amount of weight each week. All you have to do is enter your height, current weight, and your goal weight, and the website tells you how many calories you should be eating each day. Additionally, they keep track of your progress, tell you how many calories you have left for the day, and usually have options to add in your workouts so the calories you’ve burned will be taken into account as well.
Losing weight really is a balance of exercising and eating right. These websites are an easy way to make sure you’re eating right so you can finally begin to see results.
Go ahead and try tracking your calories. You just might be surprised by how much you’ve really been eating.
If you are not a part of our 12 week shape up challenge, this is the nutrition article for week one of the challenge. Click here to join.