It used to be until, the advent of the Internet, that you would see people referring to books which stated the number of calories which a particular food or drink contained. Sometimes you would see people scribbling down in a notebook the number of calories that they had consumed or writing down what they were eating to calculate the total later on that day.

Counting calories is in no way an exact science. Eating a meal that contains 500 calories does not mean that your body will absorb 500 calories.That will depend on how many of those calories are carbohydrate, how many are protein and how many are fat. It also depends on the amount of fibre that is contained within the meal and at the time of day, which you eat the meal at.

It’s a complicated science, and any calorie counting will remain an approximation. After all, even if you manage to keep track of the number of calories that you consume in any given day, calculating the number of calories that you use in that same day remains an equally inexact science.

Calorie counting does, however, remain, for the time being at least, the best and easiest way to calculate how many calories (approximately) that you are putting into your body. The Internet has provided a great resource for those wanting to lose weight. That is not to say, however, that there isn’t also a lot of misinformation online, which can confuse and confound.

One useful tool, which may aid anyone on a diet and in particular people who are on a calorie-controlled diet, is an online calorie counter. Online calories counters are an easy way to work out how many calories you are actually putting into your body. Some calorie counters we suggest are:

  • Fat Secret
  • MyFitnessPal
  • My Meal
  • Calorie Counting

All you have to do is enter the type of food and drink that you are consuming and the calorie counter will work out the total number of calories.

This, of course, becomes complicated when you take into consideration things like how you have cooked the food and the combination of foodstuffs. As it has already been said, if a meal contains a lot of fibre or protein that may actually reduce the number of calories that are consumed overall and the number of calories that are absorbed by the body.

While this can be a useful tool in losing weight, you should also always look at the calorie content on food and drink packaging. You might well be surprised about how many calories you are putting into your body. It will also help you to gauge what you should be eating and how often you should be eating it, if you wish to lose weight.

Note how many calories you are eating for each meal and at the end of the day add them up to discover your total calorie intake. If there are certain meals or particular foods or drink, which you enjoy, or eat on a regular basis, then it may well be useful to calculate the calorie content within them before embarking on a diet. Again this will help you to know how much you can eat and how often.

If you buy food from a café, a restaurant or from or work canteen, you will find it more difficult to calculate how many calories you are consuming so cooking from scratch is usually your best if you want to keep track of calories.

Although calorie counting is not an exact science it nevertheless is a useful guide about what you are consuming and is, therefore, a useful tool in dieting and weight loss. Check out the NHS page on calorie counting for more information.