This is by no means the holy grail of information for calorie tracking, but it sure as hell is a good start.
I'm using nutracheck to track my calories. I currently weigh an average of 80kg. I'm looking to put muscle on, and increase my weight, but neither weight loss (loss in fatty tissue preferably), or weight gain (gaining muscle preferably) come fast or easy.
It takes discipline and consistency to stay on track.
Using a calorie counting app will make ALL the difference.
But, where do you start?
Ok so first of all, you need to know what your BMR is. I work out BMR using the Harris Benedict formula. Once you have this number, you can then subtract about 100-200kcal to lose weight sensibly. If you minus too many, you will get too hungry, overeat the next day and maintain the weight, so a small decrease is best.
Once you have worked out how many calories you need to lose weight, you can then start tracking appropriately.
This is my food log from 16th August. Notice a couple of things:
1. I set my goal to gain 4kg. As much as I do want to gain 4kg, it won't happen fast, so I'm going to take my time, in order to gain 4kg I need to be eating 2860kcal. Now remember, this is just an increase in body weight we are talking about, not necessarily muscle, so be careful, because an app just takes in data and gives you data back.
This is why I use the Harris-Benedict formula to work out my calorific intake. I can then track my calories using the nutracheck app.
2. My calorie goal and protein goal has been effective today.
My protein intake goal is 114.8, but today I went over by 67.7g.
It's ok though because protein is only 4kcal per gram and does not easily convert to stored body fats. This means that consuming protein is great for defeating cravings!
You Don't Know Until You Track
It may sound obvious, but if you don't track your calories, you don't know what you are eating, you can forget what you ate, and so on so forth.
If you don't track, you don't know, so that 90kcal mars bar sounds very appetizing. If you track, and you are 50kcal away from your target, and you can see that, you are more likely to avoid eating because you can see your target.
If You Know What You Are Eating, Indulging Does't Seem To Hurt
Let's say your BMR is 1500kcal and you are getting ready for bed, you check your foodlog and you've only eaten 1200kcal.
This means you could enjoy 300kcal of 'unhealthy food'.
Even if you don't, you have the enjoyment of knowing that you didn't go over your calories.