If you’re new to tracking calories it might feel very daunting and tedious to begin with but is a great way to get to know the food you are consuming so you can make informed decisions that are aligned with your goals. After a week or so, you’ll get the hang of it and won't have to be so meticulous and hopefully you'll learn a lot along the way!
1. FOLLOW A MEAL PLAN AND RECIPES WITH CALORIE COUNTS
This will help to remove any quess work when preparing meals! Our Bodied By XO Meal Plans provide recipes and calorie counts for each meal. If you want a bespoke meal plan catered specifically to you, then get in touch with Christina for Online Coaching!
2. READ FOOD LABELS
Food labels contain lots of useful information for calorie counting. You can also check the portion size recommended on packaging.
How do I know if a food is high in fat, saturated fat, sugar or salt?
There are guidelines to tell you if a food is high in fat, saturated fat, salt, sugar or not.These are:
High: more than 17.5g of fat per 100g
Low: 3g of fat or less per 100g
High: more than 5g of saturated fat per 100g
Low: 1.5g of saturated fat or less per 100g
High: more than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g
Low: 5g of total sugars or less per 100g
High: more than 1.5g of salt per 100g (or 0.6g sodium)
Low: 0.3g of salt or less per 100g (or 0.1g sodium)
3. KEEP A DIARY OR USE A TRACKING APP
Keeping track of your calories with a food diary- there's loads of templates online or, a smartphone app can be helpful for tracking your calorie intake.
Keep a record of how many calories you consume and when, then adjust your diet plan accordingly.
I recommend using My Fitness Pal.
4. WEIGH YOUR FOOD
This can be tedious but good to practice for a week or so. Weighing food is a good way to keep portions in check and make you more aware of portion sizes. Some scales even provide nutrition information, such as the amount of carbohydrates.
Some basic portions and weights:
117 grams (4.1 ounces) of cooked whole-wheat pasta = 174 calories
182 grams (6.4-ounce) apple = 95 calories
156 grams (5.5 ounces) of cooked broccoli = 55 calories
170 grams (6-ounce) cooked salmon fillet = 309 calories
29 grams (1 ounce) of low-fat Swiss cheese = 50 calories