January 18th, 2013 by () in Diet Log

Tap & TrackAs I pointed out in a previous post the formula for losing weight is pretty simple – consume fewer calories than you burn. However, in practice that can be difficult to mange.

Consensus of medical opinion seems to suggest that a sensible level of calorie intake is about 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men a day. This depends on a certain level of activity. If you have a desk based job and don’t plan in any activity you may find that your requirements are less than this. Similarly if you exercise a lot you will need more. Either way once you have established what your intake should be it should be a simple case of just eating less calories than this amount to lose weight.

But, of course, nothing is as simple as that. Ignoring that your body is out to get you and goes into some lockdown mode when it thinks that you are trying to starve it, just how do you work out how many calories you have consumed?

For me I use the excellent Tap & Track app on my iPhone as I always have it to hand. Once you have set the app up with some basic information about yourself and set a daily calorie limit it it easy to use and keep an eye on how you are doing against those targets.

Tap & Track contains a huge database of items from major brands and stores (even if it is a bit US centric). You can also add your own items and, even better, meals, which is great and a huge time saver. The home page (which is shown above) gives a nice graphical display of how you are progressing on a particular day towards your goal.

The only thing that you have to be careful of is making sure that you enter every last calorie that passes your lips and that can be quite difficult to do. It is easy to pop a grape in the mouth without thinking about it. Or maybe you take a handful and think “I won’t record that as grapes are good for you so there can’t be any calories in them”, right? But it all adds up and, as I have found out, it is easy to slip over the daily limit without too much difficultly.

There are plenty of other apps for both mobile devices and online so if you choose to go down the calorie counting route you should be able to find something that works for you. Try and find one that has a reasonably large database of food items and is regularly updated as this will make your job much easier.

Does calorie counting work for you or do you prefer to do something else? If so let us know in the comments.

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