Losing weight is straight-forward with a tool like Cronometer. In this article, we explain the basic steps to successful weight loss, and why Cronometer is invaluable in the process.
This approach isn’t based on any dieting fads or flaky ideas. It’s all grounded in science.
It seems the act of logging everything you eat alone helps to raise self-awareness, and keeps you accountable for reaching the goals you set for yourself.
Losing weight can be boiled down to a simple equation. Your body requires a certain amount of calories per day to keep going. Even just lying in bed all day requires energy to keep you alive. Moving about (exercise) takes even more energy. If you consume fewer calories in a day than it takes your body to keep alive and moving (a caloric deficit), the energy your body uses to stay alive has to come from your body itself.
First, your body will use up the readily available blood sugar, then move on to use up the glucose stored up in your liver. Lastly, it will metabolize your fat stores and muscles to get the energy it needs. This is weight loss.
For a successful and healthy weight loss journey, follow the steps below.
1. Get a good quality kitchen scale
We recommend that you start with either getting a good understanding of portion sizes by measuring the food using measuring cups and spoons or for the most accurate results, get a kitchen scale and weigh your food. Without weighing the food, there is a good chance that you’ll underestimate the amount that you’re eating. People, especially when dieting, will almost always underestimate food portions. We have a built-in bias and the only way to counter it is to carefully weigh and measure the ingredients.
2. Track everything as carefully and as honestly as possible
This step is all about educating yourself. Before you begin trying to change your diet, just track the foods you eat, and start to learn what is in them. As you learn more about the calorie content and the nutritional density of the foods you eat, you’re more likely to make wiser, more effective eating choices.
Once you’re ready to get into a caloric deficit, it’s important to be honest with yourself. Don’t skip adding the little things into your Cronometer account – it all adds up in your calorie count, but it also contributes nutritional value. If you nibble a french fry off of your friend’s plate, or put butter on that toast – track it! A cup of coffee with a shot of half & half? Track it! Not only will you know the real amount of calories you’re consuming, but coffee with cream has nutritional value, and you’ll want to know about it.
3. Set your nutritional targets
Cronometer comes built-in with a nutritional target wizard. Simply tell it your body details (age, weight, height, and sex), and it will automatically set recommended minimum daily values for all of the vitamins and minerals your body requires to stay healthy.
You need at least the recommended daily amounts to keep from being malnourished. You should strive to get all your required nutrients. If your body is malnourished it can make you feel more hungry. Using Cronometer will help teach you which foods are nutrient dense and over time you’ll learn what’s best suited for your body.
Some nutrients are hard to get from your diet (for example, vitamin D). After tracking for a few days, check your Nutrition Report to see which specific nutrients you’re not getting enough of. You can either shift your diet to foods that will help, or decide to take supplements.
4. Set your weight loss goal in Cronometer
You can also choose a weight loss goal. Cronometer will set your recommended daily calories to meet that goal. For example, if it calculates that your body requires 2,500 calories per day to maintain your current weight, and you want to lose one pound per week, it will recommend your calorie target to be around 2,000 calories. If you run this consistent 500 calorie deficit, you should burn roughly one pound of fat per week.
How you reach this daily average is up to you. You could eat 4,000 calories one day and fast the next day – this would still be a 2,000 calorie per day average. You could eat 2,500 calories every day, but burn 500 calories with your daily exercise routine. Experiment with different strategies and find what works best for you – just try your best to make sure you’re hitting those targets.
Don’t try and lose weight too quickly as it can be an unhealthy strain on your body. If you are very overweight, losing 2 pounds per week is ok. If you are leaner, losing more than 1 pound per week isn’t recommended. Remember to re-adjust your targets as you lose weight.
5. Get daily exercise
When trying to lose weight, exercise serves two important purposes. First, it burns calories, so can help provide some of your caloric deficit. But secondly, if you don’t exercise at all and run a caloric deficit your body may end up burning your muscle instead of fat! A little bit of daily exercise should keep your muscles stimulated and prevent muscle loss.
6. Drink lots of water
Drinking a lot of water is important for a few reasons. When losing weight, your body releases toxins that were stored in your body fat. Drinking water can help flush them out. Drinking water also helps you feel less hungry .
7. Tips for dealing with hunger cravings
When you first start eating less calories than your body is used to, it will complain. Fortunately, there are many tricks to feeling less hungry.
First of all, make sure you’re getting enough protein. Studies show that protein can have an impact on weight loss and can help you stay fuller for longer . Cronometer’s default settings will set your protein intake to 25% of your total calorie intake. You could think about increasing that amount or at the very least, make sure you’re getting 1 gram of protein per kilogram of target body weight.
Secondly, as mentioned earlier, make sure you’re getting plenty of H2O!
Low-calorie veggies are also a great way to nibble on something substantial, without adding too much to your calorie consumption. Keep a bag of baby carrots in the fridge. If you’re craving a snack, fill a coffee mug with baby carrots (roughly 150 grams) and munch away! Sliced cucumber, celery, sweet peppers, and broccoli also make great nutritional fillers.
That’s it. Track your food, hit your targets. Educate yourself. Practice self-discipline. Be patient and the pounds will come off. You will rest assured in the knowledge that you are getting all the nutrition your body needs to stay healthy.
Best of luck!
-  http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20080708/keeping-food-diary-helps-lose-weight
-  http://doi:10.1016/j.eatbeh.2009.07.004
-  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100823142929.htmu
-  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15466943/
-  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413106002713