Being overweight is a topical issue for more and more people, both for reasons related to aesthetics, but, more importantly, for health. In an attempt to live a healthier life and lose weight, many people resort to diets built on various nutritional principles, all centered around a common concept: calories.
If all people would consider their calorie needs, their general health would probably improve considerably. In today’s article, you will learn everything you need to know about calories and the secrets that can help you lose weight if you take them into account.
What are calories?
A calorie is a universal unit of energy, as, for example, distance is measured in meters. It is used scientifically to measure thermal energy, but it is widely used in nutrition control.
With its help, it can express the amount of energy our body needs to function. In other words, calories, as an abstract representation of the energy provided to the body, are that “fuel” that the human body cannot do without being active.
All the amount of food and drink we eat is converted into measurable energy in calories, just like the energy we consume in our daily activities.
When measuring the energy value of food, we use the “huge” calorie or kilocalorie, which is equal to 1,000 calories.
Not only the number of calories consumed is important for our physique and health, but also their sources.
Below, we can see the number of calories contained in the three major components of macronutrients:
• 1g of carbohydrates = 4kcal
• 1g of protein = 4kcal
• 1g of fat = 9kcal
How many should we consume?
It is not possible to talk about a standard number of calories, imposing differentiations according to sex, age, weight and height, and type of physical activity performed.
Approximately, a child needs about 1,800 a day, a woman about 2,000, while a man’s caloric needs reach 2,800.
|Age||Daily Number for A Sedentary Lifestyle||Daily Number for A Moderate Lifestyle||Daily Number for A Active Lifestyle|
|Age||Daily Number for A Sedentary Lifestyle||Daily Number for A Moderate Lifestyle||Daily Numberr for A Active Lifestyle|
The safest way to find out how many we need (and are allowed!) to consume, taking into account the variables we have specified and depending on whether we want to maintain our weight, lose weight or gain weight, is to use a computer. of calories.
What is a food calorie calculator?
Several equations and formulas help you calculate your daily caloric needs, ie it shows you how much you need to consume from food, depending on sex, your age, and level of physical activity.
If, however, you do not want to complicate yourself with formulas and equations that give you headaches, there are many online food calculators on the internet that help you create your menu plan, either daily or for a week, based on your nutritional needs.
Such a food calculator will detail how many you need to include in a meal, how many proteins, how many carbohydrates and how many fats and such a calorie will give you valuable information about your daily caloric needs and basal metabolism (ie that number of kcal needed to maintain your vital functions), the daily caloric needs to maintain your current weight or the daily caloric needs if you want to lose weight or gain weight.
The origin of calories requires their quality, an important aspect of the daily functioning of the body. Thus, how efficiently the energy coming from the food consumed during the day is transformed into muscular, respiratory, etc. strength, depends on the quality of the calories.
“Bad” or Empty Calories
In short, super processed foods, refined sweets, and junk food usually have a large number of calories, but they are the so-called empty calories that do not represent a very high energy intake because they are poor in nutrients.
Therefore, “bad” calories are low-quality, that come from refined foods, rich in carbohydrates, extremely present today in the diet of modern man.
Foods that provide empty calories are:
• Refined white sugar
• Glucose and fructose syrups
• Refined and artificial fats
• Industrial foods that combine white flours with refined fats of animal or vegetable origin (snacks, chips, pastries, confectionery)
• Carbonated soft drinks
• Canned vegetables and meat
• Junk food.
Moreover, to be used, empty calories consume from the body’s reserves of macro and micronutrients, having a strong unbalancing effect.
The food is not at all nutritious in their case.
“Good” calories are high-quality, provided by natural, whole food macronutrients. These calories do not fatten and prevent disease and premature aging.
They give energy, vigor, and health. This category also includes negative calories, which need to be digested by a greater amount of energy than they can give up.
The energy difference required for the metabolism of these foods is taken from the lipid reserves contained in the body’s adipose tissue.
Foods that provide negative calories include:
Fruits are always consumed alone, at choice in the morning or between main meals.
• Artichokes, etc.
They are eaten raw or cooked steamed, grilled, or sauteed. They are also associated with proteins of animal or vegetable origin.
• Brazilian nuts
• Macadamia nuts
• Chia seeds
• Pumpkin seeds
• Hemp seeds
• Sunflower seeds
• Sesame seeds
• Pomegranate seeds
• Pine buds.
Seeds are consumed in moderation, about 30-40g / day. (ex: 5-10 walnut kernels extracted from the peel immediately before consumption).
Lean meat from:
Fish meat such as:
Dairy products such as:
• Lean sheep cheese
• Goat cheese
• Cottage cheese
All these proteins are not associated with starches, but with vegetables.
• Non-genetically modified soy
• Green peas
How do we regulate the number of calories consumed?
To maintain a certain weight, we must balance the number of calories consumed in food with the number burned through sports. If we consume more than we burn, they will turn into adipose tissue, and if the number of calories consumed is lower than those burned through sports, the person loses weight.
We can reduce the number of calories through a series of simple changes, such as replacing calorie-dense foods with a series of healthier foods and fewer calories.
It is essential to monitor how many we consumed. That’s how we become aware of what we eat, as well as how. It is essential to reduce the portion size.
Check food labels and confidently turn to mobile apps that help you quickly and efficiently monitor your calories consumed.
What sports activities should you choose to lose weight?
If you want to lose weight, you will need to reduce your calorie intake, which means eating less and consuming more calories, so exercise more.
For this, endurance activities, also called aerobic training (such as treadmills, biking, and ellipticals) are extremely effective.
I recommend the following types of home exercise programs (no equipment needed), created by me, which I have selected for you by category, and are designed to help you lose weight and fat, and shape a harmonious and toned body:
• H.I.I.T Workout: HERE
• 10 Tabata Workouts: HERE
Fitness Accessories Suitable for Losing Weight
Some fitness accessories are famous for burning calories, melting fat, and avoiding the problems of cellulite.
This is the case with the jump rope, the stepper, or even the mini-trampoline, which will allow you to pay special attention to the lower part of the body. Try them an you will discover their advantages yourself!
In conclusion, calories are linked to obesity and weight gain, but they are vital to health. It presents a risk, only when people consume them in excess, over the recommended amount.
When we think of calories, we must not only look at the diet but also the level of physical activity. By exercising, our body burns calories, so a high-calorie diet can be counteracted by regular high-intensity exercise.
For people who want a change in their health and physical appearance, calories become a good ally in achieving goals.
By controlling the amount ingested, but also the quality of these calories (taking care to be as full of nutrients as possible and not empty calories), we will be able to ensure progress, while eliminating the assumptions regarding nutrition.
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