If you speak to people who are dieting or those who teach about it then you might get some conflicting views about the need for counting calories.
But should you even need to do it?
On the positive side it can be effective in giving a blueprint that people can follow. Many people respond well to it as they like the structure they have to stick to. The negative side is that it can take all the enjoyment out of the process and lead people to quit fairly early on.
A lot of folks have never checked nutritional values of foods and the numbers of calories so for those people it is worth looking into so you have an estimate for each of the foods you eat. Read the labels on foods and match that up to your recommended intake.
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After doing this for a while you should know when you are eating too much or too little. This will help you to stick to your plan without needing to worry too much about counting every calorie you consume.
If you are at the other end of the spectrum and are overly concerned with calorie counting then it may be time to stop…unless you are achieving great results of course!
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An alternative to calorie counting is to pay close attention to portion sizes which can often be the root of the problem. Being aware of portions and the nutrients in your meals is very important.
You really should pay attention to portion size as it is a problem for a lot of people. It is easy to get used to eating a lot of food and convincing yourself it is okay because of the types of food you are eating. But getting into the habit of eating a lot will not help you to lose weight and will mean you pick up bad habits too.
A good middle ground balance that could suit most people is to think about your meals for the upcoming week. You can set up a plan for what you will eat and pay attention to the calorie levels. If you then buy the food you can stick to your plan without needing to check calorie numbers on food tins for every meal or snack.
You also have the option to stray slightly from the diet plan and allow yourself the occasional treat as this will mean you will be more likely to make it a part of your everyday life and commit to doing it for the long term.
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Overall I think that the more rules and regulations you place on yourself the harder it is to stick to a diet plan. Make sure you are committed and have some drive and you should do well.