Fast Food, Calorie Counting, and Tracking Your Caloric Intake

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

It’s hard to count calories when you love fast food. Of all food choices on the market, fast food ranks as the most calorific. Even the seemingly stripped-down food items – such as a glazed Krispy Kreme – yields 220 calories and 120 fat calories. That’s a lot for an average-sized donut.

To lose a single pound, you have to burn a whopping 3,500 calories. The average calorie intake is around 1,500 calories daily. If you exceed this amount and you live a sedentary lifestyle, weight gain is inevitable. But if you are really committed to staying fit and achieving your weight goal, consider these tips:

Define Your Goal

The reason why there are thousands of fad diets out there is due to unrealistic expectations. Most people want to lose 10 or 20 pounds within a week or two. And they starve themselves to hit their target. This is unhealthy. It leads to yo-yo dieting and nutrient deficiency.

So start with a reasonable target. If say, you are 170 pounds and you want to lose 15 pounds, we recommend reducing your caloric intake by 500 daily. Then, burn off the additional 500 through exercise.

Keep a Food Journal and Track Results

If you never kept a results journal before, now’s the best time to keep one. Take your measurements and write it all down. From small bites of pizza to the apple, you ate for dinner, keep a record of all the food you had within the day. List everything down and record your progress. Keeping a food journal helps quantify what you lost. Recording your progress also motivates you to push harder.

Working Out

Exercise is still the most effective way to lose weight. You don’t have to starve yourself, you just have to exercise more. The amount of time you dedicate exercising should correspond to the caloric intake of that day. If say, you overate (not ideal, but it happens), give yourself an additional hour burning the excess calories.

You don’t have to enroll in a gym to work out. If you have a dog, go out for afternoon walks. Instead of using the elevator, use the stairs. Get your spouse to accompany you as you jog or run. Actively find opportunities to get moving.

Aerobic exercise coupled by low impact training is an excellent way to blast calories. To get targeted results, tone specific parts of the body. For instance, lunges tone the legs and glutes. Pushups tone the upper body while crunches engage the abdominal muscles.

Low-Calorie Fast Food Options

If you cannot help yourself from having fast food once in a while, go for low-calorie options. For instance, instead of ordering a whole pizza and eating half of it, eat just a slice plus salad. If you are craving for ice cream, go for one scoop of your favorite flavor, not ten. If you’re craving for burgers, get the junior size, not in super-size.

The key is eating in moderation. You can indulge in fattening foods but do so in moderation. Also, don’t eat fattening foods in succession. Treat fast food as a reward. If say, you lost 15 pounds, give yourself a reward for a job well-done. Just don’t overdo it!

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