Weight Loss: Balance Your Dieting Checkbook

by in Bonnie Pfiester, Kitchen Sink, Sports Nutrition, Weight Loss July 9, 2008

weighingin.jpgBy Bonnie Pfiester, Fitness Trainer.

Dieting is all about checks and balances

Have you ever looked at your checking account and been surprised to see the balance was lower than you expected it to be. I think we’ve all been there before. At first you think “there’s no way I spent that much money”. Then as you look further you begin to uncover all the small stuff that created the big problem.

It’s funny how the little stuff adds up quick and the same applies to our diet. It’s all the extras that can get us in trouble. Condiments, salad dressings, snacks, cream and sugar – they add a lot of extra calories to our diet. Unfortunately most people have no idea how many calories they are taking in.

Dieting is all about checks and balances. The only difference is, most of us don’t ‘balance’ our diet account to see where we stand. That habit would never fly when it comes to our money. Most of us can’t afford to just keep writing checks without reconciling our account. The truth is we really can’t afford to ignore how much we eat either. Eventually it will catch up with you.

We can fool our self into thinking we don’t have to count calories, but just because we don’t count them doesn’t mean that they aren’t there. The only difference is no one is there to cut you off once you’ve gone ‘over the limit’ like the bank does when you are in the red.

Managing calories is like writing a budget. It takes a little time in the beginning, but as you begin to journal your food you quickly learn what you can and cannot afford to eat. The good news is, unlike managing your bank account, you don’t have to do it forever. Part of the initial discipline is just a learning process.

You may be a good steward of you money, but are you a good steward over your body? Your body is the most valuable asset you have. Maybe it’s time to do some checks and balances with your health this year.


Bonnie Pfiester is a Personal Trainer and owner of the health club Longevity Fitness. You can enjoy more of Bonnie’s fitness and beauty articles at .

You are invited to leave your fitness and sports nutrition questions in the comments below for Bonnie to briefly answer or write about in future articles.

  1. You know this is such a great analogy. I think I lose count of both my calories and my checkbook over the weekends. It is the big restaurant dinner that seems to kill both of them! Over the course of the month those eight careless days sure add up. Back to home cooking.

  2. Are we good stewards over our bodies. This says it all. Our health and well-being are so valuable to a long and rich life. And it’s something we CAN control. Several years ago I let myself become overweight and generally lethargic. Finally, I had enough. And it was this checks and balances being out of sync that led me to where I had gotten. Now that I (generally) keep the checks and balances in order, my life (and outlook) have improved dramatically. Thanks for this great reminder!

  3. It’s soooo true that it adds up!!! The only time I’ve really been successful in calorie counting is when I’ve recorded EVERYTHING that’s gone in my mouth (i.e. “licked the spoon – 20 cal.”). It makes a difference to have an accurate account of what you’ve actually consumed.

  4. I do agree that we should be good stewards of our bodies, but it is seriously hard to keep track of calories. Do you have any suggestions? Are there any books that have a good range of foods that list calories? How can you gauge when you eat out at a restaurant and you don’t have a weighing scale?

  5. Great article. Rings a huge bell in my life. Thank you.

  6. this is a really interesting read:) weight control is a very delicate affair, and your tips are useful! I’m glad I discovered your site:)

  7. Thanks Bonnie this is exactly what I need to be doing. My weekends are killing my diet.

  8. Thanks Bonnie, You are so right …one extra cookie a day can put you over the tipping point and make the diffirence if you maintain your weight or are gaining weight.

    Susan’s last blog post..How are you Voting for your Health?

  9. Hello. Great job. I did not expect this on a Wednesday. This is a great story. Thanks!

  10. ABOUT COUNTING CALORIES: You can buy a calorie book or use a calorie counter online. Shoot, now they have calorie counters you can upload on your phone. Many restaurants even have a nutritional menu too. As technology advances, you will have fewer and fewer excuses. Once you begin counting calories, then the real lesson begins. Eventually you won’t even need a calorie book.

    The calorie-counting process will teach you everything you need so that when you do eat out you’ll know what 4 ounces of meat looks like, you’ll know that broccoli is lower in calories than rice, etc. As you track your calories (whether it’s online or looking it up in a book), you’ll learn how to make better decisions no matter where you eat.

    During our diet program at our club, the first week everyone is completely overwhelmed because they don’t know how many calories anything is. By the second week, they have learned a few meals and snacks that fit their caloric budget and have discovered food items that were totally sabotaging their program. By the third week, they feel like they are “getting it” and by the 5th or 6th week, they are empowered by their new knowledge and the way they look at food is totally different than they did before.

    Over time, this knowledge grows to a new feeling of freedom, where they are no longer in bondage to a diet but they are freer than ever because they have the ability to modify meals, order from any menu and have treats that all fit within their “budget”. As any learning experience, it takes time – BUT there is no substitution for this lesson learned. This is the entire reason for counting calories. It’s not the answer – it’s the lesson. Once you complete the lesson, you will have more answers than you ever imagined.

    Hope that makes sense. 🙂

  11. […] Weight-loss: Balance Your Dieting Checkbook […]

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