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For many years, counting calories has been the cornerstone of most diets. Why? Because we all know that overeating is not good for our health.

When it comes to losing weight, a lot of people resort to calorie counting. But should you purely rely on calorie counting to shed unwanted pounds and stay fit? My answer is no.

SEE ALSO: 17 simple ways to lower your calorie intake

Calorie counting is an easy measure, but it should not be the end-all and be-all of your fitness journey.

The more you count calories, the less you enjoy and relish the food in front of you. It would make more sense to track your macros and portion sizes so that you restrict yourself from overdoing a certain macronutrient (carbohydrate, fat and protein).

Here are other reasons why one must not be heavily reliant on counting calories:

  • Focusing too much on calorie counting would mean restricting essential foods which could lead to nutritional deficiency.
  • Food labels are not always accurate and could be misleading.
  • Nutrients vary by variety and season. It is impossible for food companies to analyze the variety, nutrient composition and calories of vegetables and fruits region-wise and from season to season.
  • More calories equal weight gain is not true. What matters is the composition of your meals (macronutrient ratio) as opposed to the total calories consumed and burned.
  • Our bodies don’t usually absorb all calories.
  • Focusing too much on calorie counting would mean restricting essential foods which could lead to nutritional deficiency.

How many calories should I consume every day?

To easily determine the number of calories you can consume to lose or gain weight, use an online tool such as My Fitness Pal. Once you create an account, you’ll have to enter your weight, height, age, activity level, target weight, and other information which will be used to calculate the amount of calories (ballpark figure) you should be targeting every day.

How many calories should I take to lose weight?

One pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat equals 3,500 calories. This means that if you reduce 500 calories from your diet every day (500 calories x 7 days), you could lose 1 pound per week.

This is a basic idea, but when you’re training with professional trainers, they will consider your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), energy requirements and your current lifestyle.

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There are some people who overdo calorie counting and forget about proper nutrition. When it comes to losing weight, slow and steady wins the race.

If you wish to achieve your goals, maintain a healthy lifestyle, keep a healthy diet, track your progress and embrace a more active lifestyle.

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