Is calorie counting for you?

Last Modified: 7/23/2021

Calorie counting

In the most recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 73% of Americans are overweight, and 42% in the obese category. With many striving for healthy change and an endless ocean of diets and tactics to explore, it’s hard to know which avenues to pursue. Calorie tracking has remained toward the top of the list. Morgan Pequignot, NP, PPG – Weight Management and Bariatric Surgery, dives into the benefits and drawbacks of this approach and offers tips for ongoing success.

How can I set a reasonable calorie goal?

You’ll need to first figure out your basic metabolic rate (BMR). You can calculate it using this tool and entering your age, gender, height and weight. Keep in mind that a calorie goal should never be lower than 1,200 calorie per day.

Is calorie counting healthy?

Calorie counting is one of the most successful ways to monitor intake and have successful weight loss. A patient must either reduce their calorie intake or increase exercise to lose weight. Removing 500 calories per day from a person’s diet should result in one pound of weight loss every five days. It’s typically easier for a patient to take 500 calories out of their diet than it is for them to go to the gym more often and increase workout intensity. For this reason, we promote calorie counting in a healthy manner at PPG – Weight Management & Bariatric Surgery.

When does calorie counting go wrong and what are the risks associated with restricting calories?

Problems can develop when patients are intaking too little calories. The average person needs about 1,300 calories per day. A very low-calorie diet would be about 800-900 calories per day. If an individual is consuming this small amount of food intake, they should always be monitored by a healthcare professional and the diet should only be utilized for short periods of time. Restricting calories too severely could result in malnutrition, hair loss, eating disorders and many other problems.

What is the role of calorie counting for long-term weight loss success?

Calorie counting is the most effective way to reduce calorie intake and promote weight loss. Patients will need to continue with calorie counting or smaller portion sizes to retain their success.  To maintain weight loss, a person must eat within 100 calories of their calorie goal. For example, if your calorie goal is 1,200 calories per day you must eat 1,100-1,300 calories per day to maintain weight loss. There are tools to help with this tracking, including several free apps.

Can calorie counting lead to long-term complications?

If a person is maintaining a healthy calorie goal, there should not be any long-term complications from calorie counting.

If you have questions regarding healthy weight loss, contact the helpful team at PPG – Weight Management & Bariatric Surgery. 

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