First Step to a Healthy Diet and Weight Loss: Measuring Your Calorie Intake vs. Expenditure
Losing weight often begins with a simple first step: knowing how many calories you consume and burn.
When you know how many calories you eat and burn every day, you can begin to construct a plan to lose weight that includes your targeted calorie intake as well as how many calories you should burn every day.
When you’re able to clearly put your goals into perspective, you’re one step closer to your journey to lose weight and start feeling better with a healthier lifestyle!
Understanding the Impact of What You Eat
Understanding what you eat isn’t easy. Anyone who has tried to count calories before knows what a chore this practice feels like.
Fortunately, technology has made it easier to track your caloric intake without the headache. Apps such as MyFitnessPal track your meals and make it easy for you to see the calorie impact of what you’re eating every day.
Many people are shocked to learn just how many calories they’re consuming with the tracker. Knowledge is power and when you know what you’re eating, you can take specific steps to change your diet for the better!
The Difference Between Calorie Intake and Expenditure
Understanding the difference between calorie intake and expenditure is crucial to weight loss.
We already know what calorie intake is: the amount of calories you consume every day through food and drink.
Expenditure is the opposite: the amount of calories you burn every day through physical activity.
Knowing the difference between these two numbers is essential for making a successful weight loss plan. In order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you’re consuming. For people who successfully maintain their weight, this means they’re burning about as many calories as they’re consuming every day.
Even without physical activity, the body is till expending calories through sustaining heartbeat, digestion, breathing, and more. With exercise, however, you can boost the amount of calories you burn to better support your weight loss goals.
Calorie needs will vary by person, although generally in order to lose weight, one must eat 500-1,000 fewer calories every day. However, it’s important to note that just because you burn extra calories doesn’t mean you can eat extra calories.
For example, if your daily caloric intake is 1600 and you burn 400 calories, this doesn’t mean you can eat an extra 400 calories. You still should eat at or below your ideal calorie intake level and this includes exercising!
Essential Tools and Recommendations
You can measure your calorie expenditure using a heart monitor and the Polar Beat app. By syncing your heart monitor with the app, you can accurately measure how many calories you burn in a given day.
Gavin at JordanFit recommends the Polar H7 Bluetooth Heart Rate Sensor and Fitness Tracker. This chest strap style heart monitor tends to be much more accurate than a wrist monitor, although wrist monitors are generally more common. Chest strap monitors have been proven to be the most accurate of the heart rate measuring devices on the market with 99.6% accuracy.
Compare this to wrist-worn devices, which have scored as high as 92% but as low as 67% when it comes to accuracy.
In addition, these devices can be synced with the MyFitnessPal app so you can view calorie intake and expenditure together to determine how well you’re meeting your goals.
How a Personal Trainer Can Help
Having a personal trainer can not only help you fully understand your calorie intake and expenditure, but also put measures in place for you to best leverage this information to achieve your target weight.
A personal trainer will also customize an exercise regimen to help you best meet your goals based on your unique physique. Many people find that having a professional to keep you accountable while you’re trying to achieve a healthier lifestyle can make the process that much easier.
When you’re ready to begin your weight loss journey, you don’t have to do it alone. Whether you want a total transformation or are just looking to lose a few pounds, reaching your target weight is possible. Contact us at JordanFit today for complimentary consultation which could be the first step in meeting your goals!