The Calorie

      A calorie is a calorie is a calorie.  Have you ever heard that before?   You may not have.  The Charlatans want you to believe that they have a special secret, an elusive regimen that unlocks the secrets of weight control, and most importantly, weight loss.  They will tell you that their special combination of unique foods will automatically make the weight just melt right off of you.  They may even tell you that you can eat all that you want and still lose weight.   Their way is not a diet, it’s a system of eating that has just been discovered and it taking the nation by storm!  Then the kicker comes. 

“Just send three easy payments of 39.99 and……”

     The truth is that your body runs on calories.  It does not matter where the calories come from, and it does not matter how, when, or where you eat the calories.  If you eat more calories than your body burns, the excess is stored as fat.  If you want to lose weight, you have to eat fewer calories than your body needs.   This has nothing to do with appetite.  Your appetite is a combination of your body's physiological responses and your psychological relationship to food and eating.  Your mind is the most dominant player in your appetite arena.  It can, and will, override any response from within your body.   However, regardless of your appetite, the laws of thermodynamics will always apply.  Consume fewer calories than you need, and your body turns to it’s fat supplies and burns fat to make up the difference.

Calorie Counting

     Why do people hate calorie counting?   Probably because they know that calories tell it all.  It is the ultimate gate keeper for the elusive goal of losing weight.  Many super duper regimens are simply based on clever ways to avoid counting calories.   People count fat grams, or carb grams, or exchanges, or deal a meal, or points, or anything but calories.  The hope is that if you stay within limitations regarding fat, or carbs, or points, you can some how continue to eat whatever you want of the other foods.  This doesn’t work, and often leads to very unbalanced eating.  The Atkins diet is a prime example.  This has led to carbohydrate counting and a very, very unbalanced diet.  It is no coincidence that Dr. Atkins died of heart disease.  His diet is the worst thing for your heart.  This and the constant ketotic state it places your body in, is extremely unhealthy.  Losing weight is of paramount importance, but it is trumped by wanting to staying alive.

      Calorie counting also makes you face your demon.  That demon is your satisfaction, contentment with what and how much you can eat.  You can avoid facing that demon if you only have to worry about fat grams, or carb grams.  However, when you look at calories, that is dealing with everything.  You have to face the fact that a ten ounce steak has 1000 calories, or that chicken dinner from KFC has 1500 calories, or that banana split from Dairy Queen has 800 calories.   Those figures cause you to quickly realize that you are not going to lose any weight if you need to limit your calories to 1200 per day.  To be honest, the figures should show you why your are gaining weight, rather than losing weight. 

Estimating Calories

     People also avoid calorie counting because of the tedium involved.   Let’s face it, who wants to be thumbing through a book of foods and calories before each meal.   Absolutely no one.  I’m sure there are a few bean poles out there who enjoy the process of counting calories, but we are talking about normal people who just want to lose weight.
      The truth is that you don’t need to count calories, just estimate them.  As long as you are consistent, you can get all the benefit you need from just making gross estimates of your calorie intake.   The main benefit you are looking for, is the benefit of facing what you are eating and whether or not you ate more or less than your average calorie intake.  That’s all you need to get on the road to a successful, healthy and permanent weight loss.

      It is amazing what people do when they face their demons.  The natural tendency is to immediately begin to make the necessary adjustments.  If you know what that banana split did to your plans to lose weight, you naturally begin to think of ways you could have talked yourself out of it.   It may not be a matter of talking yourself out of it.  It may be a strategy for the next time you get a craving for sweets.  The next time you feel the urge coming on, you just skip dinner and go straight to dessert.   This is not a good strategy for every day, but it can get you through a tough day and back on your plan without gaining any weight.   The point is that it’s your personal strategy, your decision, and you made it with a fully informed psyche.  This is how you begin to take control of your eating.  This is how you determine how much you are going to weigh.  It’s successful, and it’s long lasting, because it is all you.

The Counselor

         The Counselor is a Food Diary/Calorie counting software package that is offered to you for free from the Nutrition Guardian.  He is for real.  He not only wants to make sure you have the truth, he also wants to make sure you have the necessary tools to get yourself to an optimum state of nutrition.  For most of us, that means losing some weight.  In that vein, the Counselor Program is offered and can be downloaded from and used indefinitely for free.   The program is called the counselor, because it is used in conjunction with online nutrition and weight loss counseling.  If you choose to receive the counseling, the cost is a nominal fee each month.  When you download the software and install it, you will be told the amount of the fee and how to sign up for the counseling program.  Once you are signed up, you will be uploading your food diary to a counselor and he or she will be coaching you and encouraging you in your quest to reset your satisfaction level and to lose weight permanently.  You can do this all on your own, but it does help to have someone there who has gone through the process before, and knows what you will be up against.  You are much, much less likely to give up if you know that your success is just around the corner.  Your counselor will be able to guide you, and tell you where you are in the process and how much farther you have to go.  Then you can relax and pursue your goal with confidence.  Weight loss becomes a matter of time, and nothing else.

     The counselor program can be used to count calories easily and with any amount of precision you desire. Under the household section, you will find a very short list of foods in the Estimator List. This is a quick and extremely easy method of estimating the amount of calories in any food. It gives you consistency and the ball park figure you need to keep yourself straight. After using the Calorie Estimator list for a few weeks, you will find that you can estimate calories off the top of your head in seconds. All of a sudden the tedium is gone and you are only dealing with goals and strategies.

     Go ahead, download the software and try it. What do you have to lose but some weight.

Click Here to Download the Counselor Software