New to Eating by the Calorie? Worry not!

If you are new to eating by the Calorie, don’t worry. I was once in your shoes!

Now, before we get into the whole counting calories thing, it is best to know our body first! There are two numbers concerning my body that I pay attention to. No, not my height and weight. I think we’re way past that here ^_^. Although, these two numbers I’m about to mention do have to be calculated using height and weight: the BMR and TDEE, and I’m just going to quote and here in explaining it to you guys:

  1. BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate): is the amount of energy expended while at rest in a neutrally temperate environment, in the post-absorptive state (meaning that the digestive system is inactive, which requires about twelve hours of fasting). The release of energy in this state is sufficient only for the functioning of the vital organs, such as the heart, lungs, brain and the rest of the nervous system, liver, kidneys, sex organs, muscles and skin. BMR decreases with age and with the loss of lean body mass. Increasing muscle mass increases BMR.

    So basically, BMR is the calories you need in order to just function everyday. Now, you can try to calculate your BMR here or here.

  2. TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure), as explained by Alex Orlov, reflects the entire amount of calories, or energy, your body burns during a given day when you’re sleeping, ingesting and digesting food, working and exercising.

You can read more in depth about BMR and TDEE here. I find it very helpful. 🙂

Now, based on all this above, I have:

  • BMR of  1124.62792
  • TDEE of 1353.935004

So in order to lose weight, I should consume less than 1353.93 kcal everyday. How much less calories you should consume each day depends on how much weight you are looking to lose and within how much time.

When I was on the Cambridge Weight Plan, I was on their strictest plan, which is a VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet). Each day, I was instructed to comsume 03 to 04 nutritional packets as the sole source of nutritions, which amounted to 440-555 kcal/day. This plan is advised by the company itself to be employed for up to 12 weeks but no more than that. So what comes after?

I speculated, “If I cannot continue to eat the Cambridge packet, maybe if I just continue to eat the same amount of Calories per day, it will have the same weight-loss effect.” However, I was not sure how I was going to make that happen, since I did not know how to count the calories at all!

Then, along came MyNetDiary. I thought to myself, with all the technology happening in the world, there must be an application that would help me keep track of the calories in the food I eat, right? I’d be taken to a lab and examined for mutated DNA if I could just look at a dish and speak the number of calories contained within off the top of my head. So I went to App Store and searched “calories counter” and voilà, I found this amazing app that has accompanied me for the past 3 weeks and helped me lose 2 more kilograms by eating real food prepared in my own kitchen. This is what it looks like:

First of all is the plan. When I first used the app, which was on March 6th, 2016, my weight was 48 kilogram, and my goal was to reach 45 kilogram. This screenshot was taken yesterday on March 28th, my weight is now 45.7 kg, so I have 700 gram left to lose in a week! 🙂

Now you see the Daily Food Calories section with the little dartboard symbol? That piece of information tells me that in order to reach my goal, the daily calories intake should be 718 kcal per day.

Ah, a little clarification here: 1 kcal = 1 Cal = 1000 cal, I hope this clears the confusion for some.


Now, let’s look closer at the meals I have eaten yesterday, March 28th, 2016:

I did not take breakfast, as it’s just not my habit. I know that traditionally, sources from all over the place tell us that it is healthy to have breakfast, as it is the most important meal of the day, and the fact that we eat breakfast should reduce our hunger to take more calories throughout the day ya-di-ya-di-ya. Well, for me that does not work. I personally feel that when I do eat breakfast, I get hungry for lunch faster! By the way, there has been a research finding which supports my belief, yay! Here it goes: Breakfast: Not Really the Most Important Meal of the Day

Anyway, looking at this image below, you can see that yesterday I have consumed 686 kcal, which breaks down to 144 kcal for lunch, 296 kcal for dinner, and 246 kcal for snack, with 32 kcal to spare. I didn’t feel I needed that last 32 to be honest.


So let’s look a little closer into what I have put into my system specifically. Let’s look at the snacks I’ve yummed yesterday 😀 :


  • 300 gram of fresh, ripe papaya, cubed, which translates into 124 kcal
  • 100 gram plain yogurt, which translates into 61 kcal
  • 0.5 piece of my homemade bruschetta creation, which I have carefully calculated to 122 kcal/per piece, which means 61 kcal/0.5 piece. We will go into how I calculated calories for each piece of my bruschetta in a later entry. Hang in there, brave souls!

By the way, ever since I started using MyNetDiary, my scale became my new best friend. If you don’t have one yet, you can easy obtain one at a baking store or so. I bake on a pretty regular basis so I was already in possession of one. My mom laughs at me each time I put a piece of pork onto my scale and logged the calories into MyNetDiary but hey, I think it’s fun to have my own little ritual before eating. It’s not a hassle at all to me and it serves a purpose, mom! (I love you chiu chiu <3) After all, drinking tea needs not a whole ceremony but the Japanese do it anyway, right? And plus, remember a conversation from “Memoir of a Geisha” that goes something like this in the hot spring scene?

– Back home a bath is nothin’ more than a shower and a cold towel with a lotta soap. Right? But here you make everything a ritual don’t you?

That is the art of turning habit into pleasure, Colonel.


So! I’ll let you sink in with all this information! Try to read and understand more about BMR and TDEE, maybe install MyNetDiary on your phone as well? In the mean time, I’ll go edit my photos of the bruschettas I’m giving the recipe to you soon very soon!

Much love,


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