Does The Calorie Counter Diet For Weight Loss Actually Work?

Yes, it does. The fundamental reason is that the basis of all successful dieting is caloric restriction and or usage. This is to say that; you can either eat less, burn it off with exercise or a combination of both.

Yes, you can us a product like a thermogenic, but that is not dieting, that’s supplementation or in this case manipulation of the body’s systems to elicit a response. But taking stimulants is not dieting.

True dieting is caloric manipulation, restriction or any change in one’s dietary habits. Body movement is exercise and not actually a part of true dieting either. Though, for most purposes adding exercise with dietary changes does cause better overall results dependent upon the desired outcome.

Disclaimer: The following is for educational purposes only. We are not advocating a change in dietary, health or exercise protocols. Please seek the advice or council of your nutritionally educated health care practitioner prior to engaging in any dietary or exercise changes.

What Is The Calorie Counter Diet?

Quite literally it’s a diet where you count all the calories that go into your body and ensure that you’re in a caloric deficit either all of the time or most of the time. Why do we say most of the time? Because some people will want to have a cheat meal once per week which we will discuss below in detail.

How Do You Do The Calorie Counter Diet?

There are many ways to do this as you’ll see throughout this article, in this section we will cover weight loss for normal people and below in separate sections we will cover athletes and bodybuilders. This section is for everyone else, regular people who just need to lose weight.

The reason that the calorie counting diet works and does so reliably is that the success of all diets is based off of calorie restriction.

Think of your body as a country. Your brain is the government, ok, scratch that, your government is your rear end and….

No, just kidding. Your brain is your government, your body your land, and your fat is your saved money.

If your GDP (all the stuff you sell to make money), (income) goes way down so that your income goes down, you tap into your reserves (savings) to pay your bills.

You have to keep your bills paid or there will be no more income.

In your body your fat is your savings. When you eat less calories on a daily basis then those needed to maintain your body as it is now, you use the fat reserves as fuel and your reserves shrink.

This is how you consistently lose body fat.

Now, there are variables. Just like a country, if your GDP (income) goes down to far you go into a recession, if you crash diet, you have a great depression.

So, the trick is to maintain a manageable caloric deficit so that you don’t have a recession or depression.

The reason is that, when your body goes into a recession your metabolism slows down and you start attempting to cut expenses.

That’s not what you want, you want your body to keep spending, burning fat as fuel, so you can’t diet too harshly.

You really can’t crash diet because then your body like a country goes into a depression and does everything it can to stop spending, even metabolizing muscle to use as fuel to save fat for an even bigger emergency.

Thinking of that like a government that would be where they lay off millions of workers but don’t pay them any unemployment benefits. You don’t want that to happen because then you get a nasty reaction where your economy slows down.

Or, in your body, your metabolism slows down and you are now actually burning less calories as the response and you now have to cut calories even more.

This is NOT what you want. Your goal is to keep your metabolism burning hot, your economy on fire so that your engine (economy or lean tissue) keeps things cranking, keep burning and producing.

So, how do you do the calorie counter diet?

Simple.

You get an app that you can use on your phone or other device that tracks your calories such as the free app Cronometer. They have a paid version of it, but that is completely not necessary, the free version works great.

Unless you are a very heavily muscled man (think bodybuilder) their caloric suggestion for your total daily calories should be pretty accurate. So, for a man with a goal of weighing 200 pounds you’ll be looking at about 2,007 calories to maintain your that 200-pound weight.

Back before all these computerized calculations we would say for normal men about 10 calories per pound of goal body weight and 8 to 9 calories for women depending on their physic. If they are overly fat with very little lean tissue, we’d say 8 if quite active 9 calories per pound of goal weight.

Turns out after using the app on numerous people these calculations are pretty darn close.

If you weight 300 but want to weigh 200 you eat for your goal weight, not where you are now.

But the app will do all that for you.

We don’t recommend adding in exercise to the app as that will bump your calories up to compensate and you’ll actually be eating too many calories.

Trust us, just because you went on a walk does not justify a piece of cake or 3 doughnuts.

So, for best results leave it out. It will just spike the calories it says you can have, and you don’t need them.

We will cover the macronutrients that you should be eating in its own section below.

Once you get within 10% or so of your goal weight then you should recalculate your numbers to be more accurate for your new weight which may help you lose that last 10% a little faster.

Now, just eat what you’re supposed to eat to reach your daily caloric goals.

We will also cover what foods you should eat in its own section below as well.

What Macro Percentages Are Best On The Calorie Counter Diet?

For regular men who are not competitive athletes or bodybuilders a 40/30/30 ratio of 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein and 30 percent fat should allow you to hit all of your micronutrient needs in the app.

The app will list out your nutrient needs for the day. Just keep playing with it until you have all your needs covered.

You’re going to find that you’re going to be eating lots of vegetables in order to hit all your vitamin and mineral requirements.

Do not just take a multivitamin to cover up for your deficiencies so you can keep eating crap that doesn’t contain what you need.

You should aim to get everything from your diet, not supplements.

Bodybuilder

If you’re a bodybuilder or a man that carries a tremendous amount of lean tissue and you’re not just fooling yourself, and you weight train or work a very physical job, then these macros will be for you.

Bodybuilding macros should be more in alignment with 50/30/20.

I.E. 50 percent of your calories from protein, 30 percent from carbohydrates and 20 percent from healthy fats.

If you’re a competitive bodybuilder dieting for a show then in your last 8 weeks just switch the fat and carbs so you’re at 50 percent protein, 30 percent fat and 20 percent carbs.

This will help to preserve your lean tissue (muscle) and give you better hormone production for those last crucial weeks.

Distance Athlete

If you’re a distance athlete you would be looking at something like 50 percent carbs, 30 percent fat and 20 percent protein to fuel your long-distance runs, bikes, swims etc.

On all these plans, make sure your eating healthy especially when it comes to fats as we will cover below.

What Foods Can You Eat On The Calorie Counter Diet?

We whole heartedly recommend that you base your diet on vegetables especially leafy greens and then fruits, nuts and seeds. If you have a lot of calories left over that you need to eat and want to have some grains, legumes or starches, go ahead.

However, never consume those things instead of vegetables and fruits.

Attempt to eat your proteins as lean as possible so that you can add in healthy fats from seeds and nuts. You should look at consuming ground flax seed, pumpkin seeds and walnuts every day along with 1 Brazil nut per day.

Walnuts are the healthiest of the nuts with an incredible number of antioxidants. Flax seeds are a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids. Pumpkin seeds contain zinc and other vital minerals along with good fats. And finally, Brazil nuts have the highest known natural source of selenium, something most western diets are lacking in.

Your proteins should come from plant-based proteins from your foods as much as possible, then a plant-based protein shake and after that only use as much chicken, turkey or fish as needed to get the rest of your protein that you need.

The reasons for plant-based are so many we could write dozens of books. But, for the purpose of this diet we want to keep your inflammation as low as possible.

Not only is it thought to be responsible for 90 percent to 95 percent of all chronic illnesses faced in western cultures it also really slows weight loss.

It’s pretty hard to have chronic low-grade inflammation and lose weight or be healthy. The two just don’t go hand in hand.

Should You Have A Cheat Meal On The Calorie Counter Diet?

Yes, you can, but we don’t recommend it, here’s why. Most people have a tendency to turn a cheat meal into a cheat day, then a cheat week, then a cheat month and boom, they’ve fallen off the wagon.

The other big reason is that, one cheat meal, depending on size can easily negate 3 to 5 days’ worth of progress.

Here’s what we mean. Let’s say you have a 200 calorie per day deficit while dieting. Then you have a 2,000-calorie cheat meal but only half of it is above your daily allotted calories.

You just consumed 1,000 extra calories. Divided by 200 (your daily deficit) you just wasted 5 days of dieting for nothing. Do that every week and you’re now only really dieting 2 days per week because you’re canceling out 5 days per week with one meal.

This makes no sense and is a pretty good reason why many dieters just can’t seem to make any progress.

How Much Weight Can You Lose On The Calorie Counter Diet?

This is the beauty of this diet. You can just do the math and you’ll know exactly how many pounds you will lose per month. We know that there are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat. If you want to lose one pound per week you must create a 500-calorie daily deficit because 500 calories per day times 7 days in a week equals 3,500 calories or one pound of body fat.

If you want to lose 2 pounds per week you would need to create a 1,000 calorie per day deficit with both diet and exercise.

It’s just math. However, now you can see why we don’t recommend losing any more than about 2 pounds of fat per week. It’s just not realistic for most people to create greater than a 1,000 calorie per day deficit through any sustainable means.

Is The Calorie Counter Diet Good For Athletes?

Yes, it is. This diet allows you to dial in your calories and macronutrients with laser precision so that you know the effects of any dietary change almost immediately.

Is The Calorie Counter Diet Good For Bodybuilders?

Yes, it might be the best diet for bodybuilders out there. The sport takes precision. Your diet is roughly 80 percent of your results. This allows you to apply math to your diet and know with certainty that the changes you see in the mirror are a direct result of a numbers change you made in your calories or macros.

It’s really the only scientific way to do it.

Sources

1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0005796778900050

2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1467-789X.2011.00873.x

3. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1475-2891-11-98

4. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/104/3/576/4564726?login=true

5. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11894-017-0603-8

6. https://diabetesjournals.org/care/article/17/1/30/17248/Caloric-Restriction-Per-Se-Is-a-Significant-Factor

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