Home #AtoZChallenge Counting Calories

Counting Calories

by Vidya Sury April 3, 2014 43 comments
Counting Calories Vidya Sury 1

With the letter C on Day 3 of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge came the confusion of a canful of C words. Coffee? Oh wait. Did that last year. Cakes? Done. Compassion? Check. Cauliflower? Cooked. Cabbage? Carved and consumed. What then? Cookies….


We’re counting calories here!

So let’s do it properly, shall we?

I have to count calories because I follow the diabetes diet. (note to self: D word!). I have to – or my cholesterol will creep up.

Counting Calories Vidya Sury 1

Counting calories need not be a chore. Or a bore. This is how I do it:

Clear clutter

I know that sitting can kill. I am not a fan of slow death. Since my work involves sitting at the computer, I get up and move very half hour, if only for a few minutes. I walk through the house, straightening stuff, picking things, clearing up messes. And yes, it burns calories. To help me, I make a list of things to do. I call it my too much to do list. There’s a goal to this. Each time I check something off, I feel happy.

Hit the road

Yes, I feel like doing that sometimes. So many potholes. But that’s not the kind of hitting am talking about. When I am stuck with something in my head, I grab my keys and go for a walk. Clears the head. Of course I am grateful my phone has a camera. Some laughter is guaranteed. And photos, too!


Very very therapeutic for me. I used to smirk when my Mom told me this, but I realized the joke’s on me. I love to cook. Just creating something in the kitchen is a great feeling and this, followed by compliments, is even better. So how are we counting calories by cooking, eh? I cook from scratch and that burns calories. Prepping takes effort.


I walk for an hour every evening on my terrace and love it. Other ways to do this, if you can’t dedicate an hour to exercise – is ignoring the elevator and taking the stairs, (if you live on the second floor and your building has more floors, hit the one right at the top and walk back.). Combines cardio. Have a pet? Walk it. Have a garden? You know what to do.

Counting Calories Vidya Sury 1


A game. With your kids. Your neighbor’s kids. Or with your dust bunnies before you zap them!

House work

I do my own housework. Okay, not everything on the same day. I pick one room at a time and deep clean it. Mopping, dusting, scrubbing. Great workout for the arms and legs even as you get instant gratification. Using my canister vacuums is an excellent workout. You’ll hear muscles protest, but that’s part of the plan. Need to get technical? Try doing the carpets and upholstery for resistance workout. Heh. Talk about clean and lean! Turn on the music and dance a little jig or two. Oh, please ignore those groans when I wake up the next morning, will you?


I work standing for at least an hour every day and I always walk around when I talk on the phone. Yes, I talk the walk. Nice way to kiss 100 calories goodbye.


That brings me to phoning a friend. I am not big on phone calls, but there are three I absolutely won’t miss – and only because they don’t live nearby. Talking – and the laughter that ensues – burns calories. Thank heavens!

Go on walking dates

This is a no-brainer for me. I am married to a man who loves to walk. Distances do not deter him. Enough said. Oh, but I also go on walking dates with friends. We usually meet somewhere where we can walk around. Walk, chat, chai or coffee and we’re ready to get on. Did I mention connecting? Yes! You also get some sunshine while you are at it, getting your dose of D. Vitamin D.


No, not the online version. And you really don’t have to buy anything (yes, famous last words). Go window shopping! My version is going veggie/grocery shopping and carry my stuff back home. An hour or two spent this way is a sure-shot calorie burner. When I visit the supermarket, I carry the store baskets instead of the trolley. Nice workout for the arms and bending it like Beckham each time I stop in a different aisle.

Counting Calories Vidya Sury 1Sleep

With all that I described above, I need my beauty sleep. Sleep burns calories!

I suppose you could skip rope for a few minutes every day, but I won’t join you. I hate my assets jiggling when I do that. You could also do the hula hoop. Go on. I dare you to.

Okay, I read somewhere that kissing for 20 minutes can burn 100 calories!

As you count your calories, don’t forget to count your blessings!

Counting calories – What is your favorite way?

Check out C for Corinne’s Color Personality post

And Proactive Indian’s Customer Is King!

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Gauri April 3, 2014 at 1:32 am

I still have to learn how to count calories. Am gonna keep your tips in mind 🙂
Gauri recently posted…C for Crayon Art (Day 3 of the A2Z)

Amrita @ Drifting Traveller April 3, 2014 at 2:42 am

I loved your post. I do so many of these too. My husband things I am in denial but I believe walking the talk burns calories!

Its C time already and I am still at B

The other blog I signed up for A to Z The Book Drifter
Amrita @ Drifting Traveller recently posted…A Commendable Brew #AtoZChallenge

Amrita @ Drifting Traveller April 3, 2014 at 2:44 am

correction, ‘my husband thinks’ o.O
Amrita @ Drifting Traveller recently posted…A Commendable Brew #AtoZChallenge

Psych Babbler April 3, 2014 at 3:43 am

Love the tips Vidya…I have a family history of heart problems and diabetes too so I try my best to manage a healthy lifestyle including counting calories and exercising. 🙂
Psych Babbler recently posted…C is for Courage #atozchallenge

Kajal April 3, 2014 at 6:45 am

Great tips, very useful! Let me try some of these 🙂
Kajal recently posted…Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Proactive Indian April 3, 2014 at 7:35 am

Great tips!

One tip that’s generally ignored or not given enough importance is Sleep. As you said, sleep burns calories. Sleep deprivation also slows down body metabolism.

I am honoured that you have provided a link to my post!
Proactive Indian recently posted…Customer is king!

Sreeja Praveen April 3, 2014 at 7:54 am

A very practical post, Vidya. From shopping to walking to housework to standing to phone calls, every thing is practical. Something which we all can do but dont do many times 🙂 Loved this post for the simple message !!
Sreeja Praveen recently posted…Companion…… ( A to Z Random Post # 3)

Betty April 3, 2014 at 8:52 am

I loved that definition of calories; I think I have a few of them living in my closet. I liked all the ways you included to burn calories! I need to incorporate some of them in my daily routine!

Betty recently posted…bench

S(t)ri April 3, 2014 at 9:28 am

My friends call me the “Calorie Counter” – When I have food, I munch whatever I want and them go on a detox or do yoga and jogging! However, when my friends tell me to check on their calories, I keep reminding them when they eat their favorite chips or cookies! :O 😛 and they will shout that I am spoiling their happiness 😛

Your write up looks legit and worth a share with my friends who curse me for maintaining my figure!
S(t)ri recently posted…Come Hell or High Water – AToZ Challenge 2014 – Day3

Prathima Rao April 3, 2014 at 9:33 am

Enjoyed reading the post. No, I don’t count calories. Got fed up (no pun intended) as I couldn’t find the calorie count of all my staple. However, I eat healthy for most part with a bit of indulgences once in a while to ensure that I don’t go about craving for soemthing. Being aware of what and how much I eat, plus throwing in quite a bit of exercise is helping me a lot. Am coming back again to catch the rest of the posts. Oh BTW, I love the “Did you smile today?” box below.
Prathima Rao recently posted…C & C – Childhood staple

obsessivemom April 3, 2014 at 9:35 am

That’s the best description of calories I’ve ever read. Cleaning one room everyday sounds like a great idea – two birds one stone kind of thing. Loved the post Vidya.
obsessivemom recently posted…C is for Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Carol Graham April 3, 2014 at 9:58 am

I love your style of writing — there is such a nice flow. Great post, great tips and I try to practice most of them which sometimes takes some concentrated effort
Carol Graham recently posted…Dogs – C is for Charlie

Carrie-Anne Foster (thatdizzychick) April 3, 2014 at 10:33 am

A great list of tips and so many of them are easy! Sometimes we don’t take for granted the little things. But they sure do add up!

Namaste, Vidya!
Carrie-Anne Foster (thatdizzychick) recently posted…B is for Milton Berle

Rajlakshmi April 3, 2014 at 11:10 am

Hahaha 🙂 still laughing at the calorie definition. I go for bushwalks and evening run … keeps me fit physically n mentally. Can’t say the same abt cooking, uff the kind if disasters I create I better stay away 🙂
Rajlakshmi recently posted…The Comparación Effect

Bhavya April 3, 2014 at 12:22 pm

These tips are very practical and enjoyable too. I LOLed at what you said about skipping 😛 😀
Bhavya recently posted…Clown

Beloo Mehra April 3, 2014 at 12:34 pm

This is fabulous, Vidya! Not just the tips but the way you write about them! I couldn’t stop smiling (laughing maybe the right word) as I kept going through the list. You have a knack for writing such fun posts. And yes kissing does burn calories, I read that too somewhere 🙂
Beloo Mehra recently posted…C is for Chaturvarna – Four Temperaments or Four Personality-types

nabanita April 3, 2014 at 12:46 pm

These days all my calories are going to my face since I have nothing to do…I’m going to try and do everything you mentioned here 🙂

Random Thoughts Naba
nabanita recently posted…C is for feeling Cowardly

Suzy April 3, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Thanks for the reminder Vidya. I am “lucky” that my project team members are at different ends of my floor – more than a 100 steps to each place. Keeps me walking a lot. But I must start my lunchtime hill walks. Nice post.
Suzy recently posted…Life’s Jigsaw – Character

simple girl April 3, 2014 at 1:28 pm

I am not yet counting calories.. But I desperately need too.. great tips as usual..
simple girl recently posted…AtoZchallenge – C for Chop

Sheethal April 3, 2014 at 1:46 pm

That looked exactly for me… Gosh! Why I’m gonna learn these count calories 😀
Sheethal recently posted…C is for …

Sulekha April 3, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Laughter burns calories and I burnt a few while reading about the skipping rope part here 🙂 I love walking and connecting with friends over chai, counting blessings is a must too.

Mars April 3, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Great post, had me smiling all the way through… Off now to get a coffee and taking the stairs (as climbing out the window is just too crazy)

Mars x

Shailajav April 3, 2014 at 5:12 pm

I need to do that: Get up and move around more often ;)And you had me giggling when you talk about assets jiggling 😀 You are funny! And where did you get that calories quote from? So appropriate. I have to show it to my husband.

Lovely post.
Shailajav recently posted…Charades!

Monica Deshpande April 3, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Thanks, Vidya. That’s a timely reminder considering my challenge this month. I will have to follow your advice or I will be rolling to work and back in May.
Loved your post and especially the definition of calories. 🙂
Monica Deshpande recently posted…C is for spicy, toasted Cashewnuts

Inderpreet Kaur April 3, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Super fun and easy to count and cut them like this.
Will be doing quite a few as I really need to burn my calories.
Inderpreet Kaur recently posted…COLOR – NOT THE KIND I LIKE.

Corinne Rodrigues April 3, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Trust you to make this such a wonderfully readable post, and more importantly a doable way to lose those calories! Loved it and thanks for the mention.
Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…Color Personality?

Jayanta Tewari April 3, 2014 at 6:55 pm

Hi Vidya, This was a fun read on a very important topic , especially for them having a sedentary lifestyle- me included. Beauty of your post is the way you wrote it as it can be easily consumed. Thanks for the tips.
Jayanta Tewari recently posted…Corruption – Let’s Chuck it

Kathy April 3, 2014 at 6:57 pm

You made me smile throughout, which you always managed to do. Your suggestions are doable, and I love doable!! If only we lived closer we could walk together! How much fun would that be? I live in proximity to my son’s elementary school, the intermediate school, and the high school so when the weather is nice the kids and I fill water bottles and take off on a hike to all three. There get to play at the elementary and intermediate schools playgrounds and I get exercise. Win win situation!

vishalbheeroo April 3, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Walking and climbing the stairs are best way to kiss calories good bye. Great take Vidya on the C of Calories.
vishalbheeroo recently posted…C for College Crush/es

Erin @ The Five Dog Blog April 3, 2014 at 8:06 pm

I too sit on a computer for work so I try to make sure I get up and move a lot. I also have lots of dogs 🙂 so walking them and playing with them (and of course cleaning up after them!) keeps me moving all the time!!
The Five Dog Blog
Erin @ The Five Dog Blog recently posted…C is for Consistent Cues 🙂

Damaria Senne April 3, 2014 at 8:09 pm

There are so many things there that I can do and burn calories, but we tend to take them for granted and don’t appreciate their value as a calory burner. I do some of them.. walk, cook from scratch, for example. I also work in the garden. Bending over to weed burns some calories and so does carrying things from one side of the garden to another and pushing a wheelbarrow.
Damaria Senne recently posted…C Is For Chinese Cabbage

Shesha Chaturvedi April 3, 2014 at 8:12 pm

I love your place here… 🙂 and your amazing posts too…”I have to count calories because I follow the diabetes diet. (note to self: D word!)” – This is what is happening to me as well…
Cooking is a stress busting activity for me… Aroma and skills used in it takes away my stress… I have been a skinny soul since infancy. Now 30, I have gained a little- still dancing is one thing I love to do to burn away my calories. Besides that, swimming classes (I am learning), long walks in park (Delhi has abundant parks), shopping (Hehe)and when nothing then keeping a check on my diet… Staying in shape is a thing related to my self confidence. It is very much important to me 🙂 Loved the pic yummm!!!
Shesha Chaturvedi recently posted…Caffeinated Post

debi o'neille April 3, 2014 at 8:51 pm

I learn something every time I read your blog. I never really thought about laughter burning calories. With that thought in mind, I should be a whole lot skinnier than I am – but I imagine that has to do with the cookies on the counter. Good thing I married the man I did – he must be keeping me from gaining even more weight, because he does keep me laughing. Wonderful man.
Love your post. Thanks for the read.
Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com
debi o’neille recently posted…C IS FOR CRUTCH

Swathi Shenoy April 3, 2014 at 8:52 pm

I am so following this!! Recently i have started to put on some weight *sob* and am going to follow your tips and keep my calories in check!!!
Swathi Shenoy recently posted…C for Care!!

Cathy Olliffe-Webster April 3, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Someone else has already said it but, wow, I love the way you write! Such positivity! Such energy! I HATE counting calories and I hate housecleaning and I hate, you know, doing ANYTHING (kidding) but you make it all sound like FUN!!!

Way to rock the A to Z C!
Cathy Olliffe-Webster recently posted…C is for Cod is Not Good

sitara nair April 3, 2014 at 9:12 pm

So there is no need to hit the gym….
Nice post….
Loved it
sitara nair recently posted…Chasing Gauri chechi……………

Eli April 3, 2014 at 10:38 pm

Sooo happy that laughter is a calorie- killer:-) Did a good workout reading your post today, Vidya:-) Ha ha – so funny and some great quotes and tips:-) Ha ha
Eli recently posted…C for Cappadocia

shere @shereypaul April 4, 2014 at 12:54 am

I hate counting calories. I got gestational diabetes and it was a pain having to think what and how much I could eat.
shere @shereypaul recently posted…AtoZ: Bodegas Monje, Canary Islands

Joseph Alsarraf April 4, 2014 at 11:51 am

LOL, is that the actual definition of calories? Walking is fun, a great way to relax after sitting for a long time! Great post, thanks for sharing! : )

richa singh April 4, 2014 at 12:52 pm

This one comes just in time for me 😀 I am soo needing to get back in shape. ANd perhaps I will follow these simple tips.

KP April 4, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Controlling the tongue rates high in calories count.Where one cannot burning them is the only other option.You seem a workaholic combining work and pleasure.Not all can do that!
KP recently posted…The button

Andi-Roo (@theworld4realz) April 5, 2014 at 10:09 pm

I love that you include smiles and laughter in counting calories. Now that’s a diet plan to which I can commit! 🙂
Andi-Roo (@theworld4realz) recently posted…A Crappy Character is a No Go. — #AtoZChallenge

Michelle Wallace April 21, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Ha! “Tiny creatures that live in your closet and sew your clothes a little bit tighter…” 🙂
I feel guilty. I definitely need to walk a bit… that’s the form of exercise that would suit me best!
Michelle Wallace recently posted…M is for Memoir/Music Manuscript


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