I think it would be fair to say that the times of calorie counting have largely moved on from the stringent belief that every calorie counts. But if you want to lose fat, calorie counting is going to be your best friend.
Based on numerous studies, calories matter. When someone eats more than they expend, more often than not they gain weight. A study that reviewed weight loss programs found that diets that included calorie counting led to an average of 7 lb more weight loss more than diets that did not.
This is likely because when you calorie count properly, you can’t underreport what you’re eating. Under-reporting food intake is one of the main reasons why an individual fails to lose weight. A 1992 study by Lichtman et al found that in obese patients, the average food intake was underreported by 16 percent and their physical activity by 75 percent, when dietary questions were compared with indirect calorimetry and analysis. Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that participants who wanted to lose weight were more likely to underreport consumption.
Based on this let’s assume that if you’re trying to lose weight, you are statistically more likely to underreport your consumption. So learning how to count calories is integral to achieving your goals.
Calories in vs. calories out is not a completely perfect method of predicting weight loss or weight gain for a number of reasons that we’ll discuss in a future blog post. But it’s a great place to start. When you are counting calories you are focusing your attention on your energy intake, based on your TDEE macronutrient targets.
Once you know what your caloric targets are, you know what you need to consume to lose weight. Spooning peanut butter right from the jar onto your toast may lead you to believe you’ve only had one serving size, but in fact you’ve had three times more than that.
When you’re counting calories, you’re getting an accurate understanding of what you’re consuming, making weight loss a straighter, more predictable path.
If you want to know how many calories you need to eat to lose weight, gain weight or maintain your weight, you should book an RMR test. FYI: You can book your RMR test with us in the comfort of your home.