Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does calorie counting help one get fitter?"
I'm 29 and hitting the gym every day. I want to get ripped. Pecs, back, abs. I eat a lot, but I don't want to eat too much. Should I count calories?
Calorie counting is often an effective part of a dieting tool for those who want to lose weight. For example, Weight Watchers and several other commercial programs for weight loss make calorie counting central to their weight loss plans. However, it is unclear from your question whether you want to lose weight or whether you are just trying to build muscle mass. If the former is part of your goal, then calorie counting may be useful to you. I suggest that you talk to a nutritionist. They will be able to help you assess your over all eating habits and weight loss goals, if you have any. They will be able to make general and specific recommendations about healthy eating, and this may or may not include calorie counting, depending on your specific needs. You may also want to talk to your personal trainer at the gym where you are working out. They may have some advice for you in terms of how to optimize your nutrition for building muscle mass. Make sure to train carefully and smartly, especially not overworking yourself and building in adequate rest and cross training time to make sure you do not cause any injuries.