Change your calories without the headache with the best app in the world, logging your calories is still unfortunately a massive headache that takes up a lot of time and effort.
There is one device that promises to measure your calories automatically by measuring glucose levels in your cells. That’s the HealbeGobe. Unfortunately, most reviewers conclude that this technology doesn’t quite work yet – but it’s promising that might be on the horizon someday. For now? Sadly a lot of professionals believe that this type of calorie measuring is just simply impossible.
So back to the problem at hand: how do you measure the calories you’re eating without letting it drive you completely mad?
One option is to take a more ‘general’ approach.
What do you eat?
Monitor your caloric intake for a few days. Look at things you eat regularly – for instance maybe you have the same cereal every morning or a pretty consistent lunch. If you don’t? Well then maybe it’s time that you started! Eating consistently makes it much easier to track your calories as well as to find a routine that works for you.
Now what you do is simply looking for the biggest calorie culprits that you can cut out or swap. If that chocolate cereal is full of sugar then you might just want to swap it with something a little plainer such as some oatmeal.
Likewise you can swap out your soda drink for water – this is an area where a lot of calories tend to sneak in under the radar.
Of course your dinners are going to vary but if your breakfast and lunch are fairly consistent then you’ll know how many calories you have left to ‘spend’ come the evening. This then means that you can simply try to avoid consuming anything that will represent a massive calorie dump.
For me it was pizza. I never realized – until I took the time to look – that the pizzas I ate often contained 500-700 calories. As my AMR is 2,200, that was a massive amount for me to spend on dinner! Pie and chips night was even worse…
So the solution was just to cut those out or at least to eat them a lot less often – really simple. And if I knew I was having them that night? Then that was a great time to go for a 6 mile run which would burn me 700-800 calories. You see how this works?
The point here is that it doesn’t have to be precise or exact – just measure enough to get a general idea and then afford yourself a little flexibility to try and avoid driving yourself completely insane.
Another thing to consider in respect to all of this is that there is no way that you can possibly learn your exact calorie intake or burn. It’s just too varied – of course there are different numbers of calories in apples for example! And likewise, your testosterone fluctuates every single day, which in turn has a big impact on your ability to burn calories.
So don’t try and track it precisely. Track is generally and aim to consume about 200 calories less than you burn (while your aim is weight loss). If you manage this, then you’ll be able to consistently burn fat and even when you make a mistake, you still won’t go over your calorie burn.
Of course it’s also super important to be careful what you eat and to make sure you’re fuelling your body with all the crucial vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other nutrients that you need. That’s a topic for an entirely different eBook though and a whole subject onto itself.