Friends have asked me before if counting the calories really work in weight loss. My reply is “YES.” For me it was a big factor in my weight loss. Keep in mind though that just limiting the amount of calories you eat without any exercise will only have some effects in the beginning, but for the weight loss to be sustainable and healthy, it has to be done together with exercise.
To be clear, limiting the amount of calories coupled with exercise is important to a sustainable weight loss. One without the other will not have as good a result. I watched a documentary recently on TV where they took roughly ten unfit people who wanted to change their lives and train for the Boston marathon. Over a period of six months, they trained the participants and had them run miles and miles until they were fit enough to run the Boston marathon (which takes roughly 5 hours!). An interesting fact though is that many of the participants didn’t lose weight throughout the training. The documentary attributes this to the fact that after running, participants continued to eat the same meals as before. Food was not controlled. Therefore, if you run like crazy, but continue to eat food with high calories, it will be very difficult for you to lose weight, even though you are more fit.
I started with switching my full fat milk to O% fat, my yogurt became O% fat, and I watched what kind of drinks I’d buy. The O% milk and yogurt had roughly 30% less calories than their full fat versions! A lot of the drinks available have quite a bit of calories…make sure to read the label! You may be drinking in more calories than you realize. Every little calorie counts and the labels are a great source of information. Weight loss is basically making sure you burn more calories than you consume. If its not worth it, don’t waste your calories on it!