Counting carbohydrates and calories is a type of diet plan that is usually used by those who have diabetes or those who are managing their weight. Diabetics need to regulate their blood glucose levels by counting carbohydrates. The amount of calories a person should consume daily depends on age, height, weight and medical conditions. Keeping track of your calories and carbohydrate is overall beneficial in optimizing a healthy lifestyle.
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The most simple and effective way to count calories and carbohydrates is to read food labels. The serving size and the total amount of calories and carbohydrates per serving will be labeled. Sugar, starch and fibers do not need to be counted separately since they are included in the total carbohydrate amount on the label, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Calorie Counting Goals
To lose weight effectively, you must create a calorie deficit. This can be attained by eating fewer calories than your body requires, which causes it to tap into fat stores and burn fat for energy. To lose one pound of fat, which equals 3,500 calories, in one week, you would need to create a deficit of 500 calories per day, says the StraightHealth website. Some people, such as athletes and bodybuilders, may be keeping track of their calorie intake to gain weight.
Carbohydrate Counting Goals
Carbohydrate counting is a good way to keep track of your food consumption and also helps if you are monitoring your blood sugar levels. Reading nutrition labels and knowing how many carbohydrates are being consumed will help you regulate the intake of carbohydrates and help to distribute carbohydrates evenly across meals. Also, if you are on a strict anti-carbohydrate diet, counting carbohydrates is necessary in achieving weight-loss goals.
Significance of Calorie and Carbohydrate Counters
Calorie counters are useful because they keep you aware of the calories in certain foods and tell you exactly how many calories you've consumed throughout the day. Many calorie counters include macro nutrient breakdowns that will also keep you informed about how much fat, carbohydrate and protein grams are found in each item you consume. This is helpful if you’re monitoring the intake of one macro nutrient.
Applications are available to keep track of your calorie and carbohydrate counting goals. The Lose It application is available on smart phones or the iPod touch. This app offers an easy-to-navigate menu that has a wide array of foods and activities. On the main screen you will be presented with a bar status display that tells you how many total calories have been consumed with a breakdown of totals in macro nutrients. CaloriesPerHour.com is a website with many free services, such as a calorie counter, calories burned calculator and a daily caloric intake calculator. Its food database consists of more than 500,000 items, and the activities list has more than 1,500 choices.