If you’ve ever attempted to lose weight, you might have heard from others to watch your calorie intake rather than checking the weight of the food you eat. Well, this makes sense as it is calories that play a significant role in controlling weight. Consuming more calories than what your body requires will result in weight gain.
Calories are a unit of measurements that tell the energy content of the food. Your body breaks down food molecules and utilizes the energy collected into different bodily functions, such as growth, though, and movement, through metabolism.
Metabolism pertains to the process in which your body transforms calories into stored energy it can use for its functions. Even when you’re resting or sleeping, your body still needs energy to support blood circulation, repairing cells, and breathing.
With that, it is imperative to eat ample amounts of food for your body to have enough energy to function correctly. Your calorie needs and metabolism may differ depending on your age, gender, and daily physical activity habits. Having a daily food plan can help you determine your daily calorie needs.
If you keep your calorie intake balanced with the number of calories you burn through metabolism and any physical activity, your weight becomes constant. However, it is when you consume more calories compared to what your body burns when you start to gain weight. Extra calories are stored converted into fat, adding to your body weight.
But, if you want to trim some weight, you need to cut down the calorie intake and not on the weight of the food you eat. For instance, eating 300g of watermelon will only give you 90 calories, while consuming a 100g of banana will already provide you with 89 calories. Eating fewer grams of food doesn’t mean you get to cut on your calories.
Food labels can be your ally in determining the calorie content of the food and drinks you will intake. Scan the ‘Nutrition Facts’ tag, and you will see the calorie content of the item. Then, consider the serving size listed on the label. If you are consuming more than one serving, multiply the number of servings to the calorie content to get the accurate calorie number.
Now, to be successful in losing weight, you need to create a calorie deficit so that your body burns more calories than you consume. Don’t force it, though. You may start eating 500 fewer calories than your daily recommended needs and indulge in 30-minute exercises or any physical activities that burn calories. Strolling around a park can help you burn more than 200 calories. Jogging, meanwhile, consumes around 675 calories per hour. It requires burning over 3500 calories of what you eat to eliminate a pound in your body weight.
Calories are available from macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Generally, carbs should make up 45 to 60 percent of your diet, protein accounts for 10 to 35, and fat at around 20 to 35 percent.
But, while you need to cut down on calories, you need to allocate its reduction appropriately to ensure that you have a well-balanced diet. Having such a balance in your food intake will keep your body healthy as you lose weight.
Experts suggest having a diet consists of fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods, and healthy sources of fat and protein. They also recommend avoiding sugar-sweetened drinks, such as soda or commercial fruit drinks, as they increase your calorie intake without providing nutrients. If possible, visit a dietician to get an eating plan that will keep you healthy while losing weight.