Proper nutrition

Calorie counting: popular questions and answers

Calorie counting is a weight loss method that has traditionally raised many questions. We have a separate article on calorie counting on our website, where all the nuances of calorie counting and the correct method for calculating calories in foods are disclosed in sufficient detail.

Do you still have questions about the method of calculating calories and its effectiveness for weight loss? Then we answer the most popular questions on weight loss by calculating KBZHU, which will help you decide for yourself whether this method of losing weight is suitable for you.


Weight loss and calorie counting questions

1. Is the calorie counting method effective? Will I lose weight?

Calorie counting for weight loss is based on a simple principle: consume less food than the body needs for energy. When the intake of calories is less than their consumption, the body begins to break down fat cells… This process is accomplished by cutting your daily calorie intake or, in other words, a calorie deficit. Under the calorie counting method, we assume a reasonable deficit within 15-20% of the daily calorie requirement, as well as adherence to the norms of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

2. Why do you recommend counting calories for weight loss?

There are several reasons:

  • Versatility: Calorie counting suits everyone.
  • Method safety: a small calorie deficit does not harm your health.
  • The method is gentle, therefore suitable for active people and for sports enthusiasts.
  • The body receives proteins, carbohydrates and fats in the right quantities, which minimizes the risk of developing diseases due to lack of nutrients.
  • No food restrictions: you can even include your favorite dishes on the menu.
  • The method is very versatile and flexible, which will help regulate nutrition when weight stops and plateau, during pregnancy, while breastfeeding.

3. Can you lose weight without counting calories?

Millions of people regularly lose weight. In many ways, and it’s not just calorie counting. We recommend calorie counting because it is a versatile method that suits everyone.… If this method is unacceptable / difficult / incomprehensible for you, then you can choose another way to lose weight for yourself.

4. Could you suggest an effective diet?

Most low-calorie and mono-diets have many limitations and side effects, so we do not recommend experimenting with your body. If you have a proven diet that works for you and works, you can use it.

5. Is it enough just to eat right (no flour, fatty, sweet) without counting calories?

Even eating “right”, you can go over your calorie intake, creating a surplus… With a surplus of calories, the body will not use fat, since it will have enough incoming energy from the outside. And it doesn’t matter what products you created a surplus, useful or unhealthy.

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There is also the other side of the coin. Trying to eat healthy, many people cut their diet to a minimum and create unnecessary calorie deficits. In this case, the body slows down the metabolism, so you will not only lose weight with difficulty, but also gain weight as soon as you relax a little in your diet.

That is why it is so important for effective weight loss to maintain balance and eat within a reasonable deficit. Of course, someone’s body is very malleable, so even a small correction in nutrition helps to lose weight and bring the body back to normal. But, alas, this does not always work. Most often, you have to count calories in order to eat your norm and at the same time not overeat too much.

How to count calories

6. How to calculate your calorie intake?

In our article on counting calories, we looked at the formula for calculating the daily calorie intake in detail. This figure is easy to calculate if you know your height, weight, age and level of physical activity.

7. Do you need to count proteins, carbohydrates and fats or is it enough to just count calories?

For weight loss, it is enough to count calories, but we also recommend keeping records of BZHU… A shortage or an overkill of each of these components can negatively affect not only health, but also the process of losing weight. Read more about this in the article: How to calculate BZHU and what is it for.

8. Are there special sites for keeping food diaries with calories and BJU?

Check out our review of mobile food diary apps. We can also recommend the most popular sites for these purposes:,

9. How to distribute proteins, carbohydrates and fats throughout the day?

You can distribute the BJU during the day at your discretion, the main thing is to fit into the given corridors. But if you need a certain landmark in the menu, then you can take note of the following chart:

  • Breakfast: Complex carbohydrates
  • Lunch: Simple carbohydrates
  • Dinner: Proteins + Carbohydrates + Fats. Fiber is a must.
  • Afternoon snack: Carbohydrates, some fat
  • Dinner: Protein + fiber preferably

Menu example:

  • Breakfast: porridge with fruit / dried fruits
  • Lunch: fruit
  • Dinner: soup, side dish, meat, vegetables
  • Afternoon snack: fruits, nuts, cheese
  • Dinner: meat with vegetables
  • Second supper: cottage cheese, kefir

We also recommend looking at our reader’s example: Nutrition while exercising with Jillian Michaels: personal experience of losing weight. You can have your own routine depending on your eating habits.

10. Is it necessary to adhere to the correct routine (carbohydrates – in the morning, proteins – in the evening) or can you eat whatever you like, the main thing is within the calculated corridors?

No, not required. You will lose weight with any calorie deficit. However, with a low weight, when every centimeter and kilogram leaves with great difficulty, such factors as the distribution of proteins, carbohydrates and fats throughout the day become important. But at first you can ignore this.

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11. I want to count calories, but how do I choose the menu?

After you have received your corridor of calories and BJU, you can start eating within the specified calorie content. There are two options:

  1. Can use an approximate meal schedule, which is presented above. If necessary, adapt the diet to suit your capabilities and needs. Gradually modify the product range based on personal preference.
  2. You can not start from any examples, but analyze your own diet… Make a list of the foods and meals you usually eat during the day and put them on a table. Depending on the shortage or enumeration of some indicators of KBZHU, correct the menu (replace one product with another, etc.). As a rule, the first time there is an overload of fats and carbohydrates and a shortage of proteins. Proteins are meat, eggs, cottage cheese, legumes.

See also: Healthy diet menu for weight loss – how to make a diet.

12. What if I don’t have a kitchen scale?

For counting calories, it is highly advisable to have a kitchen scale. Although, of course, you can use measuring cups / spoons for weighing, calculate the weight of the product based on the data on the package, take the approximate weight of fruits / vegetables from ready-made tables, etc. But the accuracy of such measurements will be noticeably lower than when using a kitchen scale.… Of course, if you approach the process with the utmost care, then the data obtained will be within the margin of error, but for the future it is better to plan the purchase of a kitchen scale.

13. Do you need to count calories all your life?

Usually 2-3 months are enough to form your menu, adapt and roughly understand your daily diet. Therefore, as a rule, after a couple of months of regular calculations, further feeding goes “by inertia”. A return to the calculations of KBZhU usually occurs with significant changes in the diet or a change in daily calorie intake. After you reach the desired figure, you can increase the calorie corridor by switching to nutrition as part of weight maintenance.

14. I just gave up sweets and lost 2 kg in a week, not even counting anything.

It is true, it is enough to remove sweets from the diet to lose 1.5-2 kg in a week or two. But it won’t be fat loss. Carbohydrates retain water, so if you reduce their intake, your body will lose water. However, this is not getting rid of body fat, it is simply a change in the water balance. Therefore, do not rush to the conclusion that to lose weight, you just need to reduce the consumption of sweets.

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You should not attach importance to weight changes within 1-2 kg… Most often it was delayed or, on the contrary, the water left. Read about the reasons for such weight fluctuations here: 10 reasons why weight gain can increase with weight loss.

15. Calorie counting is generally not important, I have already lost weight with regular fitness and more or less normal nutrition.

It is very good that you have achieved the desired result without additional calculations. But it is important to understand that each person has their own individual characteristics, different ages, different history, different genetics, different ideas about the normality of nutrition and a different attitude to fitness. The rule “eat normally and exercise regularly” has many nuances.

In order to come to a normal diet, very often you need to have some experience. (and it’s good if this experience is not bitter, such as hungry diets and various diet pills)… That is why clear criteria, such as KBZhU values, are still needed. At least for the first time as a guide.

16. What can you tell us about the container system from Otumn Calabres?

The Otumn Calabres container system has become quite popular in the United States. It’s still the same calorie counting method, but in an adapted version. The food is not weighed, but fixed in special containers that replace the scales. No calculations and calculators, containers are filled – and the necessary food for the whole day is ready.

But this food system has a number of nuances: it is necessary to have these containers or something to replace them, food for the whole day will have to be prepared in advance in the evening, a number of products are prohibited. If you look at it, the usual calorie counting looks even simpler and more accessible.

17. Will I lose weight if I exercise regularly?

Exercise gives additional calorie consumption, muscle tone, improves body quality, increases strength and endurance… An average half-hour intensive workout burns 250-400 kcal.

But weight loss is achieved only with a calorie deficit. It doesn’t matter how you reached this deficit, dietary restrictions or intense fitness. Of course, training is a serious building block in building a toned body. But without dietary restrictions, weight loss is impossible.

Read more about workouts at home:

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