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How to Be Calorie-Conscious Without Counting Calories

When I first signed up with my personal trainer I also started counting calories to log into a food journal. Three days in, and I realized that I wouldn't be able to maintain it. Counting every calorie not only proved time-consuming, but mind-consuming as well — instead of enjoying what I was eating, I felt like I was thinking more about just how many calories I'd be knocking off my daily limit.

Not everyone has the same experience when they count calories, of course, and many people find that doing so is a simple and effective way to keep their weight in check (Kate Hudson is a fan of counting calories). But if you find that it's too hard, there are many other ways to keep calories in check without feeling like you're obsessing over them.

Choosing slow-digesting fiber-rich fruits and vegetables or whole grain instead of starchy carbs, for one, will help you feel full longer. And portion sizes are important, too. Big, loaded plates mean more calories, so make sure you know what a portion of meat or carbs should really be (learn more about portion sizes here), and use a smaller plate so you're not tempted to overfill. And whenever you are eating prepared foods, make sure to take a good look at the nutritional label. Not sure how to read one? Here are tips on what to look for when reading a nutrition label.

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Are you a calorie counter, or do you like to focus on eating healthy instead? Whatever your strategy, share your tips below!

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