calorie counter

Weight is an equation. To keep the number on the scale constant, the number of calories you take in must equal the number of calories you burn on any given day. To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. Your daily calorie goal will depend on how much you exercise, and how much weight you aim to drop. But how do you know exactly how many calories you’re eating each day?

A calorie counter is a tool to help you stick to your target daily calorie limit. Calorie counters are available online, and as apps that you download to your smartphone or tablet. Examples of calorie counter apps include MyFitnessPal, Lose It!, and FatSecret.
With these calorie counters, you to enter your current weight, age, exercise level, and goal weight. Then, the app lets you know how many calories you should eat each day to reach the weight you want.

Calorie counters contain databases that include thousands, or even millions of different foods. You input each food you eat, or scan the barcode of the item at the supermarket, and the program adds up your calorie totals. Depending on which calorie counter you use, it also may provide information on the amount of carbs, fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals contained in each food. You can use your calorie counter as a journal to keep track of the foods you eat each day, follow your progress over the course of several months, and look for ways to improve your diet.

Some calorie counters even offer recipes to help you reach your goals. Others enable you to add in your daily exercise. They contain databases of different exercises; walking, playing basketball, skiing, and how many calories each burns. Then you can tally up your daily calories eaten, and subtract the calories you burn with exercise, to see whether you’re meeting your weight loss goals.

How to Use a Calorie Counter

What’s the best way to lose weight? Nutritionists often recommend reducing the number of calories consumed (see "Calorie Count Routine" sidebar below). As such, an online calorie counter can be extremely helpful. Today’s technology—computers, the Internet, smartphones—helps make calorie-counting an easy task. One key to counting calories is to use … Read More

How to Eat Healthy—and Why

The foods you place on your plate every day are far more powerful than you realize. If you choose to eat certain foods while limiting or avoiding other foods, you can have a major impact on your overall health. So it's important to understand how to eat healthy. Hundreds of … Read More

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