Keeping track of your caloric intake can be time-consuming, but it is beneficial when you are keeping your calories within a certain range. Losing or maintaining weight relies on the correct balance of calories you eat and calories you burn. One simple way to keep track of your calories is to consistently eat breakfast and snacks that total 300 calories or less. When you take this approach, it makes counting your overall caloric intake less time-consuming.
Importance of Eating Breakfast and Snacking
Eating breakfast is an important part of any diet. According to the American Council on Exercise, when you eat breakfast, you tend to eat less throughout the day as well as have an overall healthier lifestyle. After you sleep all night, your body’s metabolism is in a state of rest, and eating a filling breakfast wakes up your metabolism and helps burn calories more efficiently. Even when you eat a filling breakfast, you may feel hungry later. Snacking or eating small, snack-sized meals throughout the day may help you avoid hunger.
Overall Caloric Consumption
If you are keeping your calorie level at or below the recommended daily intake of 2,000 or 2,500 calories per day, eating a 300-calorie breakfast and 300 total snack calories a day leaves you plenty of room in your diet for a satisfying, healthy lunch and dinner. Consuming 600 calories of breakfast and snack foods leaves you 1,400 calories on a 2,000-calorie diet or 1,900 calories on a 2,500-calorie diet. If you are eating fewer than 2,000 calories as part of a weight-loss program, eating nutritious snacks and a filling breakfast can help you stay on your program.
Types of Breakfast Foods
Breakfast foods can be low in calories and nutritionally dense. Rather than a fat-filled pancake-and-bacon breakfast, eat breakfast meals that are high in fiber, low in saturated fat and full of variety. A cup of cooked oatmeal has only 147 calories, leaving you about 150 calories for an apple and half a cup of yogurt. Eat a frozen whole-grain waffle for 100 calories, add a dollop of fruit preserves and still have room for a cup of orange juice and some creamer in your coffee. Microwave two slices of vegetarian bacon product and eat it with two egg whites and one whole egg scrambled together and cooked into an omelet. An egg white has 17 calories and a fried egg, about 92.
Types of Snack Foods
You may find that eating a snack after breakfast and before dinner is adequate, or you may want a third snack before you go to bed. Combine cut-up carrots, cauliflower and broccoli and eat a cup for less than 100 calories. Dice a fresh watermelon and consume just 46 calories for one cup. Put 1 tsp. of natural peanut butter on a piece of toasted, reduced-calorie, whole-wheat bread for a 100-calorie snack. Low-fat microwave popcorn makes an easy snack, as do a few low-calorie crackers spread with homemade hummus. Divide your 300-calorie snack allotment between the number of snacks you eat.
Consider the nutritional value of your snacks as well as your overall diet. Ask your doctor for dietary advice concerning your overall calories and any nutrients he would like you to focus on. Add exercise into your daily routine to burn additional calories and stay physically strong.