Monday, May 18, 2009

Part 1: Calculating Calories

This photo was taken 2 years ago. I was about 90 kg already. But actually, I am still the happy fat girl then :)

The secret to my weight-loss is nothing complex. It's FREE, and is very very simple.

It's called Calories Calculation.

Calories calculation works on a very simple principal. Our body burn calories to give us energy to live, and there is a basic calorie intake for every individual. (It varies by your weight/age/sex/activity level)

calories intake - calories burnt = calories gained/lost.

So, if you eat less than what you burnt, then you will lose weight.

Very simple la. It's 1+1=2 kind of maths.

For me, when I was 93.4kg, my BASIC daily required calories intake is around 1715kcal.

But that is not really the calorie intake I required. The calorie intake will have to take into account my activity level.

Depending on my daily activity level, the final calorie intake varies.

If I stay at home and rot the whole day, the activity level is obviously low,
but if I very enthu, went jogging, hiking, or if I am a sales person and my job requires me to run around the island the entire day, then my activity level would be quite high.

  • Rot at home= Low activity level = 2351 kcal
  • Run around= High activity level = 2754 kcal

You can find your required calorie intake using the calculator from Health Promotion Board.

So basically, I calculate my calories intake religiously daily. I have a big appetite. In order to consume less calories, but still feel full, I eat a lot of veggie everyday. You don't have to be like me, you can choose something else (muesli bars, fruits, cereals..etc etc)to substitute if you don't like vegetables. You just have to consume something that has lesser calories.


I am very careful with what I eat. Before putting something into my mouth, I will do a mental calculation of the calories I still have for the day. I control my diet under 1350 kcal everyday.

When I first started, I am not sure of the calories too. Thus, I checked the "Nutrition Facts" of whatever I buy and do my Maths.

Nutrition Information
This is where you find relevant nutrition information. But be careful of the serving size. Some companies would use a very small serving size for their measurement of calories, giving consumers the illusion that their product is very low in calories.

For packed food that doesn't have a nutrition fact label, or cooked food from eateries, I use the very reliable
Calories counter or HPB's online tool.

Now, I am more familiar with the calories level of whatever I eat. I can do an estimate of whatever I eat very quickly. But when I am uncertain, I will still check.

Calorie Calculation is not any new big concept or scientific breakthrough. Ask your GP and he will tell you it's common sense. It's simple but often ignored.

Before this, my dieting plans always failed. And that's because I don't really understand how to lose weight. I am just trying to slim down base on my instincts. I thought I would lose weight just by eating less. Not true.

Coke Zero
Coke Zero. The "Zero" here means zero calories.

Eating less will not make you lose weight. You can eat a lot, feel very full but still consume less than your friend who eats very little and feels hungry all the time. The trick is to work your calories. It's not tough. People, we will have to work on our calories to win this.

This is my diet, let's do some simple calories calculation.....

*This is Part 1 of the 3 blog entries I will be posting on how to lose weight. Stay tuned!

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