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Counting Calories

When people decide that they want to lose weight, they go about it in different ways based on what they know. Some eat more veggies and less carbs. Some switch the bag of chips to trail mix. Some start counting calories. I was the third type and it worked for me. It works for everyone if you do it in the right way, because how your weight changes is all based on your calorie intake. Boring? Well it doesn’t have to be. 

1lbs of body weight is equal to 3600 calories. That means that you’d have to eat 3600 calories above what your body needs to gain 1 single little pound. Now, you might think: How is that even possible? But when you start counting your calories, you’ll see why. American culture shows that a lot of families tend to eat out a lot. At least a lot more than the average Swedish family. Eating out means you order something off the menu, usually not knowing what’s really in that order of food. You can’t possibly know how much oil they used or even what kind of oil. You also don’t know if that steak is exactly 8oz or if it’s really 9oz. So let’s plan an order for a fun dinner out and we’ll see how many calories it really is, shall we? 

One of my favorite restaurants is Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar. I like it so much because they let you create your own meal and it’s easy. But I do my research before and log it all, knowing exactly what to order when I get there and how many calories it’ll all sum up to be. But that’s not how most people do it. 

Let’s say that we order a burger. We want the Wrangler Burger with Monterey Jack, seasoned fried onion straws and BBQ sauce and a side of fries. Yummy huh? Oh and did I tell you we got a Bad Daddy’s sauce to dip those fries in? Oh so good! 

We finish the burger and our fries, hang out with our friends and when they ask us if we want dessert? Should we? Yeah! Your friend Lisa and you decide to split a milkshake, since you’re too full to have one to yourself. Good choice, right? You pick the Chunky Elvis Shake. I mean it has chocolate, pb, banana and walnuts! 

So what do you think? You had a burger, some fries and half a milkshake. That’s not too bad, right? How many calories do you think you really had during this sitting? Let’s do the math. 1291 calories for the burger, 480 for the fries, 124 for the sauce and then another 474 calories for half of the milkshake. 

Whuuuuut?! Oh yeah. That single meal contained more calories than what is recommended for an average female adult in one whole day. Kinda crazy, isn’t it? But it also helps you realize how easy it is to gain weight even if you only eat out every now and then. Because if you had 1500 calories during the rest of the day, we can assume you just had at least 1500 calories more than your body needed. It only takes about 2.5 days like that to gain one lbs. 

So if you’re gaining weight, start looking at your diet and see what’s causing it. Maybe try to count your calories for a day and you’ll most likely find out what’s screwing up your efforts in the gym. 

How many of you do count calories and if you don’t, what do you do to balance your diet and stay healthy? Any tips to others? 

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