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My Free Calorie Counting Application

calorie_counting_application

My free calorie counting application is not necessarily what you think it is.  The application also is not exactly free, since it does require some pennies to make it work.

We have been counting calories almost every day except for special occasions and on days we have deemed no count Fridays.  What we started out doing was to write down all the foods we were eating on a piece of paper and their calorie totals.

This worked great, but we had to keep totaling up the calories constantly in order to ensure we had the right amount and of course we had to subtract them as well.  We looked and tried apps on our phones and they were good, but they were not nearly as accurate as the scale we have on our kitchen counter mixed with the calorie amounts.

Like budgeting, it is important to count every calorie so you do not have budget creep in your plan.  When we do financial planning and start throwing in coffees at Starbucks or a diner out and try to just say it is not a big deal, those things can quickly destroy a budget.

The same thing can be said of all the additional calories we add by using creamer in our coffee or mayo on our sandwiches, etc…  Many of the common items we use every day have hidden calories in them.  If you are counting calories you should look up even the most diminutive items to ensure you are counting correctly.

calorie_counting_applicationMy wife came home one day and mentioned someone using marbles in their pockets to keep track of calories during the day.  We thought that would be a good idea and just modified it to be pennies instead.  Pennies are smaller and very inexpensive.  🙂

What we came up with was a system that each penny was worth 50 calories.  When we had a meal, snack, drink or anything with calories, we took out the corresponding number of pennies.  We used 50 and tend to round our foods up most of the time, but we have found this number to work for us.

Since November of last year, I have lost over 40 pounds by keeping my calories under 1,800 per day for my height and weight.  I learned that number kind of through trial and error by seeing what was recommended for calories per day at first and then slowly lowering that number until I saw progress.

The pennies allow me to not write down what I ate and also to count and forget.  When my pennies are gone, so is the amount of food I am allowed to eat.  We have been counting calories long enough now, that I know what are good foods and what to avoid at all costs (until a special occasion or no count Fridays).

Some great side effects I have noticed from counting calories besides weight loss:

  • I used to need to take a heartburn medication daily, but have not taken one in months now.
  • Nights with snoring have gone way down.
  • Less body pain since 40 pounds is a lot of extra weight on my frame and especially my back.
  • Grocery bill is less, because we are eating less.  Although we are eating less and our teenage boy seems to be eating more…
  • I was able to jog easier and with less pain.

The key is to use whatever works best for you.  I am a technology guy in my profession and personally, but works best for me is to use the coins, go figure.

Have a great day!

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