Yikes! I know...you read the title and are already downsizing the window as you read this. Stop! Don't! I promise that counting calories isn't as hard as you might think it is.
First of all, what are you eating anyway? Usually the same types of things from day to day that are actually easy for you to determine the calorie count of. I don't know about you, but I am not eating baked goods everyday which I would agree are probably the hardest foods to figure calorie counts on. Dessert for me has included grapefruit with Splenda (82 calories for the whole thing), Popcorn (175 calories to split a bag with John for non-hydrogenated and buttered), a banana (100 calories) and decaf coffee with creamer (coffee is less than 5 calories, the creamer is about 17). These things are all very easy to figure out.
The first thing you have to do is determine how many calories you should shoot for. I am 5'5, 132 lbs and I work out at a high activity level 5 days a week. John went to the Beachbody website for club members and found the calorie intake calculator. We calculated that I need 1698 in calories for my stats and activity level to be able to burn .5 pounds of fat each week. With the heavy weight lifting, I will build muscle in those areas, so my weight will probably not drop...but my body fat % will.
The key is writing it all down. I calculate my calories on my breakfast and write it down. Then I pack my morning snack, my lunch and my afternoon snack and I go ahead and write that down at the same time (I personally recommend packing your own snacks and lunch. That way you are regulated on what you can eat). When I get home from work I tally up my day, add in anything I didn't write down and determine what I have left for dinner and "dessert".
I have been doing it for 8 days now and only cheated one day! Now to show just how realistic I am being, let me paint you a picture. I work at a bank. I sit at the front desk and I socialize with almost every customer who comes in and leaves. On my desk is a jar of candy for customers. Across from my desk by the entry is a plate of cookies. The teller line has candy jars with Jelly Bellys, lollipops and caramels. Almost every week it is someone's birthday or another special event that leads to people bringing in goodies. These are the temptations that I deal with daily, and I am not talking about the R&B group!
One more piece of advice is to think about everything you eat. For instance, a regular Oreo cookie is 55 calories (how about half a grapefruit?), ten Jelly Bellys are 50 (how about coffee with creamer?), A fun size candy bar is about 100 (how about an entire banana?). Seriously...you are fueling your body and if you are working out, then you are wasting your time if you aren't watching your diet. Just take a shot at it like I did and let me know how you do. I can't believe how easy it is and that I have accomplished 8 days of this. It feels awesome!