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How To Manage a Calorie Budget

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I am not a health expert.  Truth be known, I am quite the opposite.  However, in four months I have lost 25 pounds!  Creating a “calorie budget” has been an essential part of my weight loss.  This budget is a plan for eating in which I treat my allotted daily calories like money in the bank.

I begin the budgeting process by creating a weekly menu which includes all three meals for each day and takes into consideration the schedule I am facing.  A busy day can wreak havoc on a food budget like unexpected expenses on a bank account.  A wise person sets aside savings for a rainy day; however, reserve calories cannot be accumulated in preparation for those days when fast food cannot be avoided.  A little planning has allowed me to budget in calories for dinners that need to be quick-prep (or from Wendy’s).

Each morning, I log my food plan for the day into my free online journal at My Fitness Pal.  I start with the major expenses, the main dishes.  Then I add in other essentials:  fruits, veggies and dairy.  If there are calories remaining, I choose extras like snacks or a dessert.  Yes, sometimes there is room in my budget for something fun!

When my daily budget is balanced, I write the final plan in a notebook which I keep with me throughout the day. I cross each item from the list as I eat it. This process does not eliminate temptation, but like a shopping list helps prevent impulse purchases, my food journal helps me guard against impulse eating.

For added accountability, I blog weekly about my progress.  There is nothing like the prospect of public humiliation to prompt me to stay on budget!

Dawn came to Christ in her college dorm room while reading the book of Romans.  It has been her pleasure to serve the Lord for twenty years as a wife, mother and teacher.  Her husband, for fifteen of those years, Michael teaches Spanish, and together they homeschool their two sons.  Dawn also enjoys tutoring ESL students, making soap and writing at her blog, Olive Plants.

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Thank you to today's guest blogger for sharing with us all!

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