Happy Sweater Weather to you!

Although we are finally hitting winter weather temps, we don’t want to pack our winter skin coats to hibernate. So, we’re going to equip ourselves with a plan for this winter eating season. Let’s start with the most basic element. Calories. Calories in, calories out. That’s the key to maintaining our waistline.

What is your baseline amount of calories just to exist? This is referred to as your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). There are many websites out there to help you calculate your BMR. I like to use the one from bodybuilding.com which you can find here. This will give you a baseline calorie target for an average day. This is NOT the same amount of caloric intake recommended for workout days. The goal here is to liberate you from the bondage of dieting this holiday feasting season. Enjoy all the foods; just aim to keep your caloric intake within your target to keep your weight stable.

How can you track all of these delicious calories? There are several tools out there to help. First, there’s good ole’ pen and paper. This is a great option if you have nutrition labels for everything. Second, there are several apps out there that keep a database of foods and allow you to track and trend your intake. My fitness pal is one of the most popular apps around. I use My Macros. Once we get past the feasting season, we’ll talk more about macronutrients and how not all calories are created equal. So, if you’re anticipating going on that journey with me, I recommend an app that will not only track your calories, but also break down your macronutrient intake.

Whatever you do, don’t let these numbers define you. These are intended to encourage you and give you boundaries should you need them. Not everyone struggles with moderation like I do. If you should feel burdened by these numbers or discouraged, let’s talk about that and dig a little deeper into why. Remember who you are. You are not defined by any number either on the scale or some BMR calculator or calorie tracker.