10 WAYS TO CALCULATE AND TRACK CALORIES YOU’VE BURNED
by Jessica Clark
When it comes to losing weight or maintaining your current size, one of the most reliable methods is simply to ensure that you’re burning more calories than you’re taking in each day. For those with a relatively low level of experience in the area of tracking calories, however, the prospect of managing the equation can be daunting. In all actuality, keeping up with the number of calories you’ve burned and calculating your daily totals can be quite simple. These ten tips will help you monitor your calories, both consumed and burned, to ensure that you’re staying healthy and making the right choices in terms of your diet and activity level.
Be Honest with Yourself – It’s so easy to fudge the numbers a bit in order to make yourself feel better about cheating your diet or skipping an exercise session, but you’re not accurately tracking the number of calories you’ve burned as opposed to how many you’ve consumed if you’re not honest with yourself.
Determine Your Ideal Calories Burned to Calories Consumed Ratio – Before you start working to track your caloric burn, you need to know the magic number for your body to achieve results. When you have a concrete goal, you can meet it more easily and ensure that your tracking efforts pay off. It does no good to track the numbers if you’re not sure where you need to be, so make sure that you do your homework. You can use an online calorie counter to determine this number.
Put Your Smartphone to Work for You – There are so many things that your smartphone can do for you, and calorie tracking is no exception. There are a plethora of both paid and free apps on the market that will help you keep up with how many calories you burn over the course of a day, and they can be one of the less complicated options available.
Invest in a Heart Rate Monitor – While some devices can be quite expensive, a heart rate monitor is one of the most reliable tools at your disposal when it comes to keeping up with the number of calories you burn over the course of an exercise session. Shop around to find the
best model within your price range, but don’t dismiss these items out of hand as an unnecessary expense.
Wear a Pedometer – You certainly burn calories while you’re actively working out, but you’re also burning them throughout the day as you expend energy. Wearing a pedometer will let you know just how far you walk each day, help you track the amount of calories burned and give you an accurate view of just how active you really are.
Use Online Calculators Carefully – There are a multitude of online calorie calculators to be found on the Internet, but they should be used carefully because they’re not all accurate. Be sure that the one you’re using is from a reputable source and hosted on a website you trust.
Examine Exercise Equipment – Most cardio workout machines will have a calorie tracking function built into them, even if they’re not always easy to find. Check the equipment you use for just such a feature, and record the number displayed at the end of your workout.
Keep an Exercise Journal – Using the results from your heart rate monitor, pedometer and the calorie tracker embedded in cardio machines in conjunction is far more accurate than using any one of these systems alone, but you’ll need a dedicated place to record that information for review. Keeping a journal not only allows you to track your calories, but also serves as an inspirational tool.
Keep a Food Journal – It’s not enough to track the number of calories you’ve burned; you also need to track the amount of calories you consume. Recording everything you eat or drink in a dietary journal will allow you to compare your caloric intake to the amount you burn through exercise and activity, so don’t neglect this crucial step in the tracking process.
Speak With Your Healthcare Provider – The single most reliable source when it comes to healthily and effectively losing weight is your doctor or primary care provider, who will also be able to give you accurate advice regarding the best methods of tracking your daily calorie burn. By reviewing your options and listening carefully to your doctor’s advice, you’ll be able to build a safe and effective fitness plan.
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