An Easier Way To Count Calories

A quick tip for those of you who use tools like FitDay, NutritionData, or even your Apple iPhone to count calories (something I highly recommend doing):

If you shop for groceries on a weekly basis for fresh foods like I do; and don’t stockpile your food, you can get a weekly total instead of a day-to-day count. It will also be much more accurate.

For example, if a large part of your diet is fruits and vegetables (which it should be), look at your receipt; you should be able to see each item listed and exactly how many pounds each. You can use this for your data instead of having to weigh/portion each meal. Obviously, your food intake will be spread out over several days, but you can get a weekly total instead of a daily total.

Let’s say your groceries last you exactly 7 days. You can get a daily average once your week’s total is figured out. For example, I know if my daily limit is 1500 calories per day, that’s 10,500 for the week. I can simply log in all my food for the week and see if it fits within that limit.

If someone digs into your food supply or you share your foods with others.. great! You’ve effectively lowered your calorie intake without effort.

Obviously, you still have to account for things like snacks you pick up, and meals eaten outside the home (which, if you’re trying to cut, are not very helpful I find). But at least you get rid of the ambiguity of “Is this a small, medium, or large melon?” or “Is this a small, medium or large banana?” because you have the exact weight listed on your receipt. You don’t have to measure things each day and you can distribute your food intake throughout the week however you want.

I understand this won’t work quite as well with places that don’t weigh your foods; but it’s still a useful tool.

So keep it simple and keep your receipts.

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