Tracking your daily caloric intake may seem like a tedious task, but it can help you lose weight more effectively. Additionally, online tools in the form of food and calorie calculators can help speed up the job. In addition to keeping your calorie count within your ideal range, you also need to focus on eating nutritious calories from foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
Several types of online dieting calculators are available to help you track your weight loss and monitor the foods you eat. The U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests eating a well-balanced diet consisting of a wide range of fruits and vegetables, grains, low-fat or nonfat dairy and lean protein sources. The USDA also recommends limiting your sugar intake because table sugar and other sweeteners contain little or no nutritional value.
Losing weight can lead to significant improvements in your health. According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, even moderate levels of weight loss – about 10 percent of your current body weight – can greatly reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and help balance your blood sugar levels. Tracking your daily food intake over the course of just one week can lead to significant improvement in your eating habits by providing awareness to what you're actually putting in your mouth, registered dietitian Siobhan Walsh said in a SmartChoices column published oin the Seattle Post-Intelligencer website.
Many online dieting calculators can be used for free. It’s important, however, to make sure that you’re getting your calorie and nutritional information from a reputable source to ensure accuracy. One free and effective online food intake and calorie calculator can be found at TheDailyPlate.com. This website allows you to search a growing database of foods and track your calorie intake. Another useful diet tool can be found at MyPyramid.gov. Created by the USDA, the MyPyramid tool is a free online calculator for determining your ideal daily caloric intake for losing weight safely.
In order to safely lose weight, you must be patient. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, recommends that you not exceed two pounds of weight loss per week. This allows your body ample time to adjust to the changes it’s going through. A food intake calculator can help you to better monitor each calorie you consume, leading to a more organized and efficient weight loss plan.
By the Numbers
Weight loss can be viewed as a numbers game. For instance, to lose one pound, you must create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories. A calorie deficit simply means you take in fewer calories than you burn. Achieving the maximum recommended weight loss of two-pounds-per-week means that you’ll need to cut 7,000 calories per week, or 1,000 calories each day. You can achieve this level of weight loss by eating fewer calories and exercising 30 to 60 minutes a day.
A food diary can help you track your daily food intake more efficiently. Several online food diaries help you track and monitor the foods you eat, and one useful and free tool is the MyPyramid Tracker. This tool helps you keep track of each calorie your consume, but it goes far beyond that. It also offers personalized dietary recommendations based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Additionally, it will show you how many vitamins and nutrients you're getting from the foods you enter into your food diary.