Benefits of Counting Calories: Fat Loss and Beyond!

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Don’t be fooled by all the fat loss and muscle building experts out there proclaiming the death of calorie counting. Chances are they all started with some form of calorie counting and are obviously more experienced now and don’t need to follow the practice religiously.

Calorie counting at the end of a tough day
Fellow fitness blogger Rafi Bar-Lev from The Fitness Adviser was kind enough to explain the basics of this time-tested method and outline the long term benefits.

Benefits of Counting Calories: Fat Loss and Beyond- Guest Post by Rafi Bar-Lev

Your coworker makes a comment to you about your weight.

Generally, you’d just brush it off, but this isn’t the first person to say something and you’re aware that it really is a problem. You decide that starting today, you’re going to go on a diet and start losing weight.

There’s only one problem. You don’t have the faintest idea where to start?

Which is why you’re here, right now, reading this post. You’re also in luck, because while there is a lot of information and excellent tips about fat loss (and the guys here at The Fat Loss Authority do an amazing job making those tips available), there is only one thing that you have to start doing when you start a fat loss diet– Count calories.

The Importance Of Counting Calories

First, let’s start with the basics of fat loss.

Your goal is to burn fat.

To burn fat, you need to have a deficit of calories in your diet so that your body is forced to burn the fat on your body for energy.

To create this deficit of calories, you need to take in less calories than you expend during the day.

Finally, to ensure that you’re taking in less calories than you expend, you need to count your calories during the day.

Let me give you an example of how critical counting your calories are:

Let’s say that you’re an overweight person used to eating pasta all the time. Then you decide to go on a diet, and you don’t change your diet and continue eating pasta, although less. You notice that you’re not losing weight and can’t figure out why. Finally, you give up trying to lose weight and blame your metabolism.

Now, had you counted your calories, instead of going on a generalized diet of eating less, you’d realize that pasta has a tremendous amount of calories. You’d then make the decision that to lose weight, you’d have to cut pasta completely out of your diet. Then you probably would have been successful in your diet, and instead of giving up, you would already be looking great and enjoying your decision to start losing weight.

Long Term Benefits of Counting Calories

Counting calories can be a little tedious in the beginning, since most of us really have no idea how many calories are in the foods we eat until we first start counting them.

That being said, taking the time to find the calories in all the foods we eat has long term benefits that go even go beyond the benefit of losing weight.

Here are a few of them:

1. Intuition Kicks In

Once you get used to counting calories, you’ll have an idea of how many calories are in different kinds of foods in general, including new foods. That means you won’t have to be counting calories constantly, and will intuitively know how many calories you’re eating per day.

2. Think Before You Eat

One of the reasons people put on weight is because they don’t think about the foods they’re eating. When you count calories, it forces you to think about every food you eat, and the next time you pick up that piece of cake, you might rethink your choice and put it back down. That also means that not only will you be eating less, you’ll be eating healthier foods.

3. Confidence and Comfort

With knowledge comes self confidence and comfort. When you know exactly what you’re eating and how it affects your weight, you’ll feel more comfortable around food without having to constantly worry about putting the weight back on.

There’s Always More To Learn…

While counting calories is a key part for immediately getting onto your fat loss diet, there’s always more to learn about staying healthy and how to put together the best diet. The important thing is to go into your diet at full force and enjoy the journey to a healthier life.


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9 Comments

  1. Mark M says:

    Isn’t weight watchers just one big calorie counting system? Amazing how one concept can be replicated. Good stuff Rafi!

  2. Rafi Bar-Lev says:

    Thanks Mark!

    -Rafi

  3. Sherri says:

    I couldn’t agree more with #3. Even though I hated the process of counting everything I hate and totaling it up at the end of the day, I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.

  4. Sherri congrats on your success.

    I used to act like a different person around food I shouldn’t be eating. Either I would binge or become anti-social. Defintely more comfortable nowadays…

    Rafi, solid post. Thanks for contributing!

  5. Rafi Bar-Lev says:

    Sherri – Yeah, it’s definitely crucial for fat loss.

    Dave – Thanks for letting me contribute!

    -Rafi

  6. Rafi,

    Hope you don’t mind, I changed the picture. Couldn’t stand the boring calculator in hand.

    Michael

  7. Rahim says:

    Good post Rafi. If you’ve never tried counting calories before, would you recommend an electronic calorie counter or a meal plan like weight watchers to get you started?

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