As I lay in the emergency room writhing in agony the nurse asked, “On a scale of one to ten, how bad would you rate the pain?” “Let’s put it this way” I responded, “If I owned a gun I would not be ready to use it yet, but I would be comforted just knowing it was there.”
She did not think my lame attempt at humor was funny.
I’ve had back pain before but never anything like this! There were some precipitating events that led up to my emergency room visit, of course, but one of the underlying factors was the fact that at only five feet ten inches tall, I weighed 318 pounds!
This was the final straw. I simply had to lose weight. But like most other overweight people, I had tried all kinds of diets and they never worked. But clearly I needed to do something. That’s when I discovered that there are free online websites that make calorie counting easy.
What I didn’t realize was that weight loss is not just about the quantity of food we eat, but about how many calories the food contains. I discovered that the amount of calories a food contains is not always very intuitive.
For example, I never would have dreamed that a single “healthy” taco salad at Taco Bell can contain as many calories as three delicious jelly-filled Dunkin Donuts! It’s not just about quantity. It’s about calories. Understanding this fact, allowed me to eat enough food so that I did not go hungry, while staying within what I soon called, my “budget.”
To make calorie counting easier, I signed in to CalorieCount.com and selected a goal of 230 pounds. This was not an ideal weight, of course, but I thought it was a realistic target. The website asked about the level of my physical activity and I selected the lowest level. I admit it, I was a couch potato (mmm, potatoes!).
According to the website, if I ate 2,400 calories per day I should achieve my goal in about 18 months. I knew, of course, that I could lose more weight—and lose it faster—by lowering my calorie goal, but I wanted a calorie total I could live with permanently. I figured that there was little point in struggling to lose weight if I was just going to gain it back again anyway.
Once I signed up, it was just a matter of keeping track of my calories for the day. Free websites like CalorieCount, MyfitnessPal and Lose It make that easy with extensive databases of foods and restaurants which include calorie and nutrition information. All I had to do was type the name of the food and/or restaurant in the search box, fill in the quantity, and click to add it to my list for the day. The websites automatically tally up the calories and other nutritional information. Since I am on the computer every day anyway, searching for foods and recording calories turned out to be easy and even fun.
For more weight loss tips, go to the full article on Dennis’ website.