How To Count Calories (The Easiest Way Possible)

How To Count Calories (The Easiest Way Possible)

I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase “Weight loss is as easy as calories in vs calories out!”

Well, how do you count calories?

In this post you’ll learn

  • What calories are
  • Why you need to keep count of your calorie intake
  • How I effortlessly kept track of my calories when I first started.

What Are Calories? (The Reason Why We Count Calories)

Calories are used to measure the amount of energy in something that you eat or drink.

The calorie content is often given in two different formats.

Per Serving ” or “Per Container

Per Serving” refers to the recommended “Serving Size.”

Calories Per Serving vs Per Container/Package visually explained.

For example: 1/4 of a pizza may be listed as 300kcals and the entire pizza would be 1200kcals.

If you eat half of the pizza (two of the green 1/4th slices of pizza) that would be 600 calories.

Eating the entire pizza would be 1200 calories!

Also something important to know each product may have a different “Recommended serving size

This means reading the menu or skimming a nutrition facts label is very important.

Curious about how to read “nutrition facts” panels? Here’s how to easily understand them!

Counting Calories, but what are “Kcals” and “kJ”?

Previously, you saw the photo/text where I purposefully used “kcals.”

Kcals is short for kilocalories, which is another way to say “calorie

This was just to make you familiar with the concept.

In the US we always see “Calories” on the “Nutrition Facts” panels

However; other countries may use kcals instead.

You can use 300 calories or 300kcals as you wish.

Similarly, you may see another label kJ, which is short for kilojoules.

Please note, Kilojoules are a HIGHER number than calories/kilocalories.

This is because Kilojoules are the metric measurement of calories.

When you need to find the amount kilojoules, multiply the calories number by 4.2.

Also, you can divide KJ by 4.2 to get the calorie number.

This will help keep everything the same.

Calories and Weight

If you want to effectively manage your weight you will need to count calories.

To gain weight, you will need to regularly take in more calories than you use.

For weight loss, you will need to take in less calories than you use.

Lastly, maintaining your weight will mean consuming the same amount of calories as you use.

If you want to understand how many calories you need for your goal,Check out this post.

Once you know the amount of calories you need to have, counting your calories is easy!

using a TDEE Calculator to figure out what number I need to reach before i Count Calories.
Here is my maintenance calories calculated by TdeeCalculator.

All you need to do is add all of the calories you consumed in the day!

Below I outline what this would look like.

MealCalorie Content
Breakfast400kcals
Snack 1220kcal
Lunch850kcal
Snack 2300kcal
Dinner570kcal
Snack 3190kcal
Total Caloric Intake2570kcal
Example of daily calorie intake.

If someone who was not active would consistently eat these meals, they most likely would gain weight.

Although they have a small breakfast and dinner, all of the meals add up.

It may seem hard to remember how many calories you had, especially if you go out to eat!

When enjoying a meal out, I think it’s reasonable to “guesstimate.”

For example, you have a restaurant’s specialty dish like “yummy pea risotto” or “in-house veggie burger

They may not have the calories calculated or displayed.

Find a recipe that seems like it’s close in weight or size and just use that.

Nobody deserves to be stressed when they should be enjoying a wonderful meal.

Your life is more than numbers on a scale or 80 miscounted calories.

Sure, over time that COULD add up, but for a fun occasion once a month or so, give yourself a break.

How I Used To Mindlessly Count Calories (Affiliate link)

While restaurants are hard, everything else like pre-packaged meals or fruits/veg it can be VERY easy!

Especially with Cronometer.

When I was about 14-15 I used Cronometer RELIGIOUSLY.

The app is VERY useful, you can scan ANY food/drink with a barcode and it puts in the calories for you!

Back when I started, I needed to manually enter in some things like protein powders or obscure brands.

Now they have almost EVERYTHING databased!

Meaning it’s as simple as scan and save time.

This may also be beneficial to know, Cronometer is more than just a calorie notebook.

They have a section for inputting your weight, activities and for your caloric goals.

You can see your progression overtime or how close you are to your intake.

Personally I don’t think the paid version is necessary, but others might.

The free version works VERY well.

Quick Tip I Use To Count Calories / In conclusion

Get familiar with your favorite foods’ calorie content and write them down in your journal.

If you have 10 dishes or snacks you LOVE to have, remember how many calories are in them.

Once your food logs look relatively consistent you probably will know how much you take in out of habit.

This meal is exactly 500 calories, this snack is 250, this drink has 380, and so on.

Once you learn more, you get a pretty good idea of how much you’ve taken in and worry less about jotting them down.

However; this isn’t to say that counting calories and keeping a journal is only good for starting out.

Writing down exactly what you had and how much is guaranteed to be as accurate as possible.

Things can slip your mind easily and this extra accountability can help you reach your goals efficiently.

I mean that over-time things will be less frustrating and you’ll probably have a better sense of your daily intake.

If you have any questions or comments, let me know.

Until Next Time, Toodles!

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