Tracking calories is essential when preparing for a bodybuilding competition diet. Whether you use a paper notebook, online diary or use an online calorie tracker, choose a system that is easy for you to input data and track your calorie counting.
There are many websites on the internet dedicated to tracking calories for one day or for one year. Below are a few that we feel best fit the needs of bodybuilding and figure competitors.
Keep in mind these points when tracking your calorie intake:
Calorie tracking is only as accurate as you make it! If you fail to track your foods, leave out snacks, or only half fill in the days then do not expect accurate results.
Do not feel obligated to track calories every day, especially if you eat the same meals on most days. Tracking just one or two days a week is fine if you are seeing results and not straying from your diet.
Look at the total number of calories per day when tracking calories. And look at the total amount of macronutrients, which are protein, fat and carbohydrates per day. The total amount is important, not the percentage of protein/fat/carbs per day. The body needs a certain amount of each macronutrient depending on your goals, body weight and lean body mass. The body does not care what percentage of macronutrients it is receiving.
If you need to change calories, or macronutrient amount, do not change them too quickly or too radically. Extreme changes in a diet can lead to uncontrollable cravings, appetite changes and declining energy levels. Change your diet gradually over a few days to a week or as long as necessary. Do not expect changes in the body to be visible for at least 4 weeks. The body does not change rapidly or overnight, so do not change your diet too frequently or you will never see the results you want.
Calorie Tracking Websites
CalorieCount Includes recipe tool that accepts a list of foods and how many servings required and it calculates calories and macronutrients per serving.
CalorieKing Includes plenty of commercial food products.
DailyBurn Easy to use, accurate, wide range of foods.
NutritionData Very accurate and detailed, includes a lot of natural foods
Nutridiary Good, basic and accurate tool that allows you to create favorite meals for ease of logging. Can track exercise and water intake also.