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Monday, January 19, 2009

Tracking Your Daily Calories

I know it seems like such a pain to do. But, really it's not that hard and it's so beneficial. Just the other day, I realized even for myself how important it is to know what you're eating. In one meal, I consumed 1125 calories! What was really alarming to me was that I prepared it myself! I wouldn't have been suprised if I had gone out to eat, but this meal was prepared in my very own kitchen! A breakfast of pancakes, tater tots, turkey sausage and eggs seems harmless, but any meal can be bad if you eat too much.

If you are not used to tracking your calories, here's an easy way to get started. Take one day at a time. Don't get overwhelmed thinking you have to do this for the rest of your life. So for one day, keep a journal of everything you eat. At the end of the day, go over your journal and begin adding up your calories. How do you do that?

Take a look at those nutrition facts labels (so hang on to that chip bag if you had chips). Then start tallying up your day. If you have something like an apple and don't have a label to look at, go to nutritiondata.com and there you can find all kinds of stats, even fast food.

After a while, you'll become familiar with food and its calories and then it will become easy.

Now, you may say, how many calories should I be consuming. Well, it's different for everyone. But a good general range is from 1200-2000 calories. Anything over 2000 calories for anyone, is a little high for everyday nutrition and a regular exercise routine. So if you're eating fast food two or more times a day, cut it out! Or maybe you don't eat fast food, but you snack on nuts all day long, trying to be good, cut that out too! Start keeping track and you'll see how easy it becomes and how much your body will thank you.

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