I gotta admit, during the last week or so, I’ve changed my stance on this subject quite a bit. I’ve never been a huge fan of counting calories, as I found it a hassle. I have however done it every now and then. I do have a decent understanding on what different kinds of foods contain.
With the technological advances in smartphones, this all changed. Logging your food with an app is easy and convenient. Unless you’re extremely serious about your food, there are plenty of free options.
As Martin Rooney pointed out to me “you can’t manage what you don’t measure”, and counting calories has become a simple way to manage and measure your food. It also makes you think consciously about what you eat.
As I’ve detailed before, I believe 4-6 weeks is the optimal time frame for a diet, and logging most of your meals during those periods should be easy. As a bare minimum, I’d recommend you do it the first week of each dieting period, so you get a good basic idea of how much you should eat. Obviously, counting calories is also a valuable tool for gaining weight, if you have problems getting the food in you.
Counting calories will reveal some hidden calorie-bombs and help you re-learn things you might’ve forgotten about food. So give it a go – try using an app to count calories for a week – I guarantee you’ll learn something in the process.
Final note: you probably wont be able to log everything down to the last gram of kale, but that’s not really the point. Your calorie expenditure will vary too. Try to log as much as possible, and throw in guesstimates when you’re unable to measure.