One of the worst things about dieting is counting calories. That’s why there are so many tips, tricks, and gimmicks that reduce the headache of counting.

In the Change Diet plan, counting calories is done only once per item. This might still be a pain, but what this plan does is reduce the bookkeeping. We use coins instead of actual calories. Each coin (penny) is 10 calories.

Further, your daily intake is based on your starting weight: the number of pennies you allocate is equal to your weight in pounds. (If you’re used to using kilograms, just multiply your weight in kilos by 2.2 instead.)

We also do a lot of estimating. Calculate once for an average meal, and then use the same count for all future iterations of that meal. So, for supper, I use 1000 calories or $1.00. But, if I pig out, I’ll take $1.20 out of my allotment for the day, rather than $1. Or, if I eat really lightly, I might only take out 80 or 90 cents.

Do the same for breakfast and lunch, and you’re all set.

I also include quite a few numbers for commercially-available food. See the appendix (not yet published at this time: Oct 23, 2019.)

The gimmick is you have your pile of coins. For me, I weighed 216 when I started writing this up, so I counted out $2.16 each day. If I ate a Culver’s ButterBurger cheese (460 calories), I remove 46 cents from that pile. For every three minutes I exercise, I put two cents back into the pile.

Note that I always want to have at least five pennies in the pile, at least two nickels, at least three dimes, etc. This is so I can make change.

I use old pill bottles to store my change for this. I have one that’s refilled every morning, and one where I store used coins until the next day.

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