How Counting Calories Has Helped Me Lose Weight

Counting calories has never been easy for anyone. It’s a difficult and sometimes grueling job that leaves you exhausted and annoyed. I’ve never honestly counted calories. It’s crossed my mind and I know how to do it. I never thought of doing it to lose weight. I thought it was a guilt thing to not eat so much. (That works too if that’s your thing.)

I started counting, actually counting, my calories less than two weeks ago and I’ve lost four pounds. That’s not a huge milestone, but it’s a start and for someone like me, a start is good enough to keep me going.

It all started when I got my Fitbit (here’s my post about that) and it started telling me how many calories I’m burning and how many steps I’ve taken in a day and just a ton of other information. It was slightly overwhelming. It was also super awesome. I can’t remember the exact moment when I decided to start that leg of my wellness journey, but it was a great call. I’ve been counting calories (religiously) now for twelve days.

It’s been a true eye-opener to see how much I eat. Even the little things.

For example; my work has miniature candies to keep the morale up during the day. Ever since I started counting calories, I monitor how many of those I actually eat. I eat about two a day (depending on the day, sometimes I don’t need any) and I have to count those in my calories. They also have LifeSavers mints for us. I have to count those calories, too.

It’s a habit to just grab a couple of mints and go about my day, but I have to think it through and write it down when and how many mints I eat. Lying to yourself while counting calories doesn’t help you, it’s a hindrance and it defeats the purpose of counting calories.

I’m in the middle of changing the lifestyle that I’ve had for years. I’ve been eating so much for so long. I never cared about how much I ate, I cared about what was on my plate in front of me and how much more was in the kitchen, or what’s the most convenient food I can get in this moment for instant gratification.

Food has always been a highlight of my day since I was little I remember asking my parents “what’s for lunch?” or “what’s for dinner?” because I would psych myself up for whatever meal we’re having. Food shouldn’t be the highlight of someone’s day. There’s so much more in this world to be excited and happy for, but for some weird reason, I choose food.

I have a strange obsession with it. I don’t eat a lot. I munch and I think about the kind of food I want to eat for whatever meal and I’m usually down to go on midnight McDonald’s runs with friends. But my obsession stops now (well, twelve days ago). I still think about food, that’s another beast I have yet to tame, but I think about it in a more controlled way. I know my limitations on what I can actually eat and the sacrifices I’ll have to make if I want something immediately. I’m proud of myself because of that. I think, “I can eat this candy now or I can have more chicken later during dinner,” and things like that.

Since I’ve started counting I haven’t eaten above my calorie outtake. I always burn more calories than I consume. There are some days that are better than others, but I always stay where I need to be.

It’s kind of a game to me now. I may not be eating the healthiest things but I’m eating less of it and I’m getting full on what I eat. It makes me hopeful and proud of what I can do and how it’s actually changing my body.

It’s sad though because I feel a relapse is bound to happen. I tell myself that it’s normal to have a day where you eat at your calorie outtake or above it. It’s not exactly healthy to have a 1,000+ calorie deficit every day (which is about what I have been doing). I’m not complaining because that’s the reason I’ve lost four pounds in twelve days.

To be honest, I’m already starting counting my chickens before they hatch. I’ve calculated how much time it would take me to lose my goal number and I’m excited because it’s a doable goal (when it goes by ‘losing a controlled number each week’ rather than ‘losing a lot of weight as quickly as possible’ it seems fairly easy) and it can be done before I turn 25 (I should hit my close to my target goal before I turn 23, but I’ll stick with 25 to keep my mind from getting stressed out). That’s another reason why counting calories have worked for me. I have proof that it’s helping.

Plateauing is a huge barrier for weight loss, I understand that. I’ve also thought about adding exercise into calorie counting. Right now I’m not planning specific exercise routines or anything like that. I’m working on getting this part of my new lifestyle down and learning to eat less rather than adding more stuff to my plate (so to speak) and dropping everything I’ve worked on so far.

It won’t be easy. It’s going to be a tough journey but this is the most hope I’ve had for living a better life than I have ever had before. I’m excited for my future.

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