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Counting Calories: Benefits and Limitations

Counting calories can help you make wise and informed lower calorie food choices. Yet, it is tedious and time consuming. So, many people simply give up.

It’s not so much the act of counting calories that is helpful. Rather, it’s the knowledge we gain about our current diet that will help us make smarter food choices.

Counting calories for a week or two can help you gather useful data about what you’re eating. Once you gain the knowledge, you simply need to live by what you know.

Take the example below. The snack choices below are almost identical in size and flavor. Yet the one on the right has about ten times more calories. If the enjoyment is the same, then why use up over a day’s worth of calories on a single snack?

Once you know how to make “calorically economical” choices, then you’ll begin choosing those foods instead.

Of course, counting calories alone is ineffective as a means to lose weight. While watching your caloric intake may motivate you to cut back, that motivation often gives way to cravings, a strong appetite, and the desire to eat to boost energy.

Long-term benefits come from permanently making changes in lifestyle that will result in lower hunger and greater energy throughout the day. Getting more sleep, drinking plenty of water, and exercising can help in this regard.



By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com