Counting calories has never been easier with the help of the variety of calorie calculators available today. Say goodbye to the pen and paper and hello to a few magical tools to make weight management easy, and somewhat fun. Here are a few things to know before you choose the right calorie calculator for you.
A calorie calculator acts as your very own personal assistant, in the energy department of your life that is. A good calculator will first determine how many calories a day you need. It generates this number from your personal information such as height, weight, age, and activity level. A well-equipped calculator will be outfitted with a large database of food items, some topping over 35,000 foods and 250 restaurant items. With this database in its memory, the calculator will then be able to tell you how many calories you are eating when you enter in the foods you consumed during that day. Many calculators also allow you to input your favorite recipe ingredient by ingredient to determine nutritional values of those meals as well.
In addition, an exercise component will likely be included in the calorie counter you choose. Its function is to generate a number of calories burned given the activity you engage in. After entering in the appropriate figures such as time, pace, and distance, the calculator will display the number of expended calories. As with determining caloric intake amount, the counter uses your specific profile of height, weight, and age to compute this number for you. The advantage of being physically active and utilizing the exercise function is that you will either lose more weight or will be able to eat more food and still lose or maintain weight.
Types of Calorie Calculators
There are several ways for you to keep track of this important information. There are two popular methods: interactive websites and pocket-size gadgets.
Whether you use something like my-calorie-counter.com, or any one of the vast number of sites available, these tools are unique in their ability to keep track of your progress, as well as provide you with daily information. For example, many offer displays of your progress in colored pie charts, enable you to enjoy motivational message boards and forums, and watch yourself get smaller with the tracking of measurements including hip, chest, thigh, and calf, as well as benefiting from the food and activity database functions. Many sites offer a vast list of restaurant food values as well. Calorie calculators of this nature are also extremely convenient for the person likely to be found in front of a computer screen and keyboard most of the time. Many sites offer free membership SparkPeople.com, my-calorie-counter.com, while others charge a nominal fee such as MyFoodDiary.com at $9.00 per month.
The list of functions available in pocket calorie counters is endless. You can purchase the simplest model that simply computer calorie amounts. Or, you can go as high-end as the mp3 player that include a calorie counter, an activity counter, and all the bells and whistles attached. And, for the walkers and joggers, be sure to check out the pedometers that include all the calorie counting functions as well. Price for these little masterpieces can range from a few dollars up to over $200.00.
Do They Work?
Whether you utilize the interactive tools available online or purchase a calorie counter, you will be helping yourself stay on track. It is widely known that individuals that keep food journals experience greater success with losing weight and are better equipped to maintain their weight loss. The only disadvantages are a malfunctioning handheld device or an inexperienced user of a computer. If this is the case, there is always the option of buying a book of calorie counts and using the pen and paper method. Since the price tags vary greatly, from freebies to a couple hundred dollars, there is sure to be an adequate counter for you.