Are you making this HUGE mistake when tracking your calories?

Not sure if you’ve noticed but the BUZZ within the fitness crowd at the moment seems to be…

Calorie Tracking.

Basically working out exactly how many calories you consume each day.

Tracking calories is nothing new, but advances in technology has made it easier for everyone to get involved.

In the past it would require using a paper diary and weighing and measuring your meals, followed by cross checking to find the calorie value.

It could take forever and be quite boring and mundane.

With apps like Fitbit, Lose IT and MyFitnessPal (over 80 million users) you can just scan the barcode or search up and viola it updates automatically.

Believe it or not there are some really cool pieces of tech in the pipeline that make it even easier.

First up Google (who else) are developing an app that counts everything just by taking a picture…

Next up is the GoBe which claims to automatically measure calories consumed just by wearing.

Think about that for a second…

You wear the device and it gives automatic feedback, no tracking, taking pictures or having to log food.

Now that sounds pretty cool, and it will only be a matter of time before this kind of tech is widely available.

You might be wondering why would you want to track calories in the first place?

Well when it comes to weight loss, weight gain and performance it is the most accurate way to monitor and guarantee success…

Or is it?

It’s not the only way and I’m not saying that everyone should start tracking, it’s just another useful tool that can help if done right.

Here’s the big problem when it comes to tracking calories especially for weight loss.

Most people use a formula or let the app work out a daily calorie allowance, they then follow this to the letter and think it’s job done.

They eat nutritious healthy meals and generally deprive themself of tasty not so nutritious foods, and go a bit extreme.

They step on the scales and they are either the same, or worse it’s a few pounds increase WTF.

You’ve been starving yourself and eating like a rabbit for weeks for a 2lb gain.

When it comes to weight loss it is possible to OVEREAT from healthy nutritious foods.

The HUGE mistake people make is they don’t take into account their non exercise activity levels.

It’s especially worse for people who work shifts or dont have a consistent routine.

For example someone who works 9-5 doing a desk job and works out a few times a week probably has the same activity levels every single week.

It’s a lot easier to build in a deficit of calories (needed for weight loss).

Conversely if you do shift work and it varies from week to week then some weeks you may have a deficit and others a surplus (weight gain).

Ill use daily steps to simplify it 10,000 steps per day is approximately a 500 calorie deficit which would equate to 3500 calories a week.

A 3500 calorie deficit is about 1lb of fat for weight loss.

Here is 2 examples of ladies eating a daily calorie allowance of 2000 calories.

Office worker who has a daily calorie intake to maintain their current weight (with no activity) of 2000 calories.

They create a deficit by eating 1500 calories a day, giving 1lb of fat loss (500 calorie deficit / day).

If they then walk 10,000 steps / day they would create a further deficit and reach their target of 2lbs per week weight loss.

Lets look at the shift worker who has a calorie intake of just 1500 calories per day to maintain her weight.

Week 1 she is averaging 20,000 steps per day due to her shifts.

That would still give a similar deficit, but from different methods so +500 calorie surplus from her diet (2000 – 1500) and -1000 calorie deficit from her steps giving an overall 500 calorie deficit for 20k steps per day.

Here’s the problem the following week she can only average just 5000 steps per day but continues to eat the exact same amount of food (because the app says so).

So her original deficit of 500 calories a day now becomes a +250 calorie surplus a day because she is much less active.

She feels like shit because she has followed the plan and done everything the same as week 1 but gets a different result (a slight increase on the scales).

What do you think happens next?

She probably throws in the towel and thinks whats the point it’s not working.

The point is that calorie tracking can have its flaws and your food intake should be adjusted in accordance with your activity levels.

There are many ways to skin the cat and they all work if you know what you’re doing 😉

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Until next week…