Contrary to popular belief, some of those tricks and fad diets actually work (even for the long haul). However, it often takes a shift in thinking and permanent lifestyle changes, which includes adopting a new healthy approach that’s feasible for the long-term. Some can stick to a healthy low-carb diet. It’s a good choice for those who don’t like to count calories, but there comes a point with a low carb diet where you plateau. Often, this is where your body is naturally supposed to be, and you’ll likely put on a few pounds as you get older thanks to a slower metabolism and reduced physical activity.
However, if you want to control your weight (and not leave it up to your body), combining calorie counting with a healthy diet is critical. There isn’t something more magical than this, but if you don’t think you can do it, you’re wrong. We all need a little fine-tuning sometimes. Even if you’re an avid anti-calorie counter, you can convert and find out just how easy it is.
The Doors Open Up
Contrary to popular belief, you have many more options as a calorie counter than as an unhealthy fad dieter (think the cabbage soup diet!). You can eat anything, truly anything, as long as you stick to your recommended caloric intake and stay reasonable. If you go off your lipotropic diet for a meal or even a day to indulge in some cake for your birthday, it’s alright. Just keep caloric intake in mind, too. Women losing weight should consume 1,200 – 1,500 calories per day while men can consume up to 2,000. That’s quite a bit of food if you know how to regulate it.
For example, an entire cup of strawberries has only 50 calories. Two cups of spinach, the foundation for a big salad, has only 20. You’ll be amazed at how many natural, healthy low-calorie and lipotropic foods are available. You’ll also be surprised by just how many calories can be packed into a tiny amount of your favorite foods, like a glass of beer. In fact, excessive alcohol consumption has a smorgasbord of negative side effects, including weight gain.
What About Keeping Track?
Your smartphones can be a fantastic tool to help you stay on track. There are scores of free websites and apps available to download. They can help with tracking nutrition, workouts, body measurements and much more. While other websites have a richer variety of food options than others, it’s often simple to input your favorite dishes along with preferred portion sizes for easy tracking. When you know exactly the amount and quality of calories you’re putting into your system, and those burned through workouts, you aren’t tempted to cheat yourself. Plus, it also helps you decide if a cheat treat is “worth it” or not.
Planning can also help you prepare for the day ahead. Maybe a vacation is coming up, or you have a full week of monotony ahead of you with ample time to squeeze in an extra workout. Planning around special events, such as birthday outings, helps you stay in control. Even better, you can indulge reasonably and make the most of the celebrations without compromising your weight goals.
Jumping on Board
The toughest part about weight management is simply putting your mind to it. You innately know if “it’s time” and if you have the determination, patience, and commitment to follow through. A healthy fat loss is two pounds per week, max, but if you’re also building muscle, the scale might not budge much. Taking measurements and aiming for a shrinking waist and sustained or growing biceps, hips, thighs, calves and neck can be a better means of measurement.
Remember that once you meet your goal, you’ll suddenly feel a bit gluttonous when you up your calories to maintenance stage. For many people, this means doubling their daily calories. Just make sure to keep an eye on the scale, and your food, for a lifetime of health and looking great.