All You Have to do is Count Those Calories!
Calorie counting. That’s the two-word answer of how you lose weight and keep it off, before and after bariatric surgery! It sounds easy, right? Well, maybe it doesn’t, but when you make it part of your life and really focus on it, it gets easier and pretty soon you are not even thinking about it, just doing it!
A calorie is defined as a unit of energy. Our bodies need calories (energy) in order to survive and keep the cells in our body alive. This allows our organs, like the heart and lungs, to function properly. We receive this energy through food and drinks. When our calorie consumption is too low or too high, we often experience health complications or weight changes.
Tools like a food diary, measuring scales can help
Calorie counting is so important in weight loss because you will not be able to lose weight or maintain your weight if you do not know how many calories you are consuming. Keeping a food diary, recording what you are eating in a calorie-counting application, reading food labels, and using scales and measuring cups is the best way to determine what you are eating and what your total daily calories will be.
Knowing how many calories you should be eating a day is the first step in calorie counting. Many factors can go into play when determining how many calories you need a day. Your physical activity, overall health, gender, weight, height and shape are all things that should be considered when determining your calorie needs. After bariatric surgery, you will only eat about 400-800 calories a day at first, depending on the type of surgery you have. Eventually, when you are on the regular, bariatric 5 diet, you will be eating around 1,000-1,200 calories. And then your calories are figured by your goal weight in order to maintain that weight.
Try a smart phone app for tracking calories!
Reading food labels is the best way to know how many calories you are eating. Look at the serving size and the amount of calories that are in that serving. Remember if you eat two servings, you will have to multiply the number of calories by two. If you do not have a food label, Calorie King book is a good resource to keep with you so you can look up how many calories are in certain foods. A food scale and measuring cups will be important to make sure you calculate the right amount of calories per size/serving of your food item.
Another popular method of tracking calories is by using smart phone applications. These apps can be very helpful in tracking calories throughout the day and are handy since you usually have your phone with you.
Here is a list of popular applications with ratings from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It will help you choose the best app for you! Make calorie counting a part of your life and you will have great success with weight loss and weight maintenance.