Counting calories - so cliche and stupid sounding. Being overly obsessive with it is not neccessary unless you are a competing bodybuilder, to shed weight and lose those lovely love handles on the waist all you really need to do is substitute, and then switch over to a basic meal plan. With this, these two nutritional methods alone should get you a six pack, but only if you sincerely do it! Yes, sincerely, but, you can cheat, somewhat.
On my post about how long should it take to get where you want safely I mentioned to cut your calories by 20%. What is that 20% and how much do you cut? Let me explain.
First of, you need to find out your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate - minimum amount of energy (in calories) required for your body to complete basic functions throughout the day). It is very simple, with little math. This formula only applies to adults, though.
66 + (6,3 x weigh (pounds)) + (12.9 x height (inches)) - (6.8 x age (years))
655 + (4,3 x weigh (pounds)) + (4.7 x heigh (inches)) - (4,7 x age (years))
Now that you have your Basal Metabolic Rate, we go into the next step, calculating activity.
If you sit around all day: BMR x 20%
Light activity: BMR x 30%
Moderately active: BMR x 40%
Very active (intense exercise every day for long periods - yeah, I'll stop on this one, there's more though.): BMR x 50%
You add this number to your BMR - and there you go, you have the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight. On my previous post I said you need to consume 20% calories less to safely lose weight - which means, no going from fried chicken straight to only salad, use the two methods I've mentioned above.
This way, BMR(5000) x 20% = 1000.
20%(1000) - BMR (5000) = 4000, which would be the amount of calories you need to consume in order to lose weight safely.
This is very easy to do stuff which can save your health, I think it's better to stay safe then sorry - find out how many calories you need and start reading those labels! It's good to write down the number of calories you ate each meal on your phone - then you will be able to see how much more you need, or if you should stop and eat better next day.
If you are unsure how many calories x item has, just google the nutritional value of that item, it should show up.
Do not forget to drink a lot of water, not underestimate sleeping properly, stop making common mistakes to become happier!