When you are in the process of losing weight, using a calorie calculator tool can help you stay on track. This is especially true when you are in the early stages and learning what works, what doesn't and to what magnitude.
When I talk about a calorie calculator as a tool, it's really not anything elaborate. The key is to find out how many calories are in the food you are consuming vs. the number of calories you are burning in your fitness program and during your day. This isn't, necessarily, something that you have to buy. The key, similar to the rest of this weight loss program, is to find what works for you, fits your budget and can evolve as you continue to change your lifestyle to keep the weight off.
Of course, there are probably calorie counting tools that you can buy, if you are so inclined. I'll tell you what worked for me. Feel free to search the web for other, more techno options. Maybe Fit Bit has a function to track what you've burned.
Since I am, let's say, frugal by nature I typical would rather not go spend money on something if a free tool with just some of my time invested can work just as well. Here's my DIY recommendation.
If you have a computer at your disposal, download a copy of Open Office. It's a free competitor to Microsoft Office and it works really well with similar menu structures. I use it in my current business. I don't think it will work on Apple computers, though. Can't help you there, but I would imagine there is something similar available. There may even be a smart phone spreadsheet app out there if you don't have a computer.
Once you have Open Office installed create a spreadsheet in Open Office Calc (or whatever is already on your computer). You can dress this up however you want, but the key is to have 6 columns: Date, Meal #, What You Ate, Calories Consumed, Calories Burned, Net Calories.
Columns 1-4 and 6 (this is just calories consumed minus calories burned) are really easy to fill out. When you get to calories consumed, this information is on pretty much every food package in the U.S. I don't know about other countries. Search the web to fill in any missing calorie figures.
Just enter the calories for the serving size you consumed on each food item you ate. Remember to include snacks. This record-keeping process will keep you aware of what you eat vs. what I recommend in the Nutrition section of this site.
When it comes to column 5 (calories burned) you won't be able to hit a precise number. However, you can get close. You will need to track all the things you do for the day. It's not as hard as you think. Just jot is down on a pad of paper throughout the day. Then plug it into one of the many tools available on the web to have it generate your calories burned. Enter that into the spread sheet column of the same name and have the formula you put into column 6 do the math for you. A negative number there will mean you took a step toward weight loss for the day. A positive number in Net Calories means you need to consume less or burn more (my preference).
Remember, this is a tool to help you. Once you get the hang of this program, you can stop using it or keep it up if it helps. Some people just can't stand the record-keeping. For others, a calorie calculator will keep them accountable.
Check out some other weight loss tools that are more "hands-on" on other pages of this section.