Let’s be honest, most of us don’t keep track of our calorie count, or if we do, we do it intermittently, here and there as we feel so inclined. And while that may not seem so bad, it can lead to some serious overeating and derail our fat loss efforts. It’s also safe to say that most people aren’t really familiar with proper portion sizes.
Over the last 40 years, official statistics show the number of calories people consume has dropped – however, the population has continued to gain weight. The steady increase in obesity could be down to people failing to accurately assess the amount of calories they eat. So are we really overeating without realizing it?
In the study, published by the Office for National Statistics, men on average estimated that they consumed about 2,100 calories, and women 1,600.
But when scientists made a more accurate assessment of what participants had consumed they found a calorie count that was much quite a bit higher than estimated, with men consuming an average of 3,119 calories every day, and women 2,393. That’s a pretty significant difference from their original estimate, especially when you add this over time.
Government statistics suggest more than 58% of women and 68% of men are overweight or obese, while one in four UK adults are classed as obese, according to the UN.
The fact that people appear to be underestimating their calorie intake is not surprising. It doesn’t necessarily mean that people are in denial about how much they eat. Honestly it mostly boils down to the fact that people don’t know how to calculate and keep track of calories.
So how do you know whether or not you are overeating? How can you keep track of your calories or manage your nutritional intake to make sure this doesn’t ruin your fat loss results?
There are many things you can do in order to aid weight loss and keep track of your calories. Here are just a few basic things you can implement in your day to day life.
Cut a couple of hundred calories a day: That’s the advice from Public Health England (PHE) who say adults should limit lunches and dinners to 600 calories each, with 400 calories for breakfast. They say the “rule of thumb” will help people to stay within overall daily calorie limits of 2,000 a day for women and 2,500 for men.
Count Your Calories: This is extremely important if you truly want to know whether or not you are overeating. There are plenty of apps, websites, and articles that can help you figure out how to do this. Just make sure you know how many calories you need as this is a crucial step, and then go from there.
Sleep more: According to researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in the US, insufficient sleep can cause insulin resistance as much as a high-sugar diet. Another study from the University of Leeds found regularly getting by on too little sleep can lead to an extra 3cm of fat around your waist and put you at an increased risk of diabetes.
Stress less: Similarly, studies have also found that stress, like lack of sleep, can lead to insulin resistance and weight gain around the mid-section.
Ditch diet drinks: Not only are sugar free or diet drinks not helpful to weight loss, they can even lead to more weight gain according to scientists from Imperial College. Just eat real, whole food instead.
In short, it’s not crazy to think that many of us are overeating without realizing it. The best way to combat overeating is to count your calories and know your portion sizes. If you can master those simple steps, you won’t have to worry about overeating nearly as much.
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