Calorie counting can be a complicated matter. There are varied opinions regarding the importance of tracking calorie intake while maintaining a diet. Some say that you must keep an eye on your daily calorie gain to reach your weight goal. Others maintain that the quality of the food is more important than the quantity of calories you absorb. So first, let’s understand what calories are.
Calories are the energy stored in various foods, in the form of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. These calories provide the fuel our body needs to perform all the activities.
Tipping the scale
Managing weight is a balancing act – balancing the calories you intake with those you burn. So, if you take in more calories than you sweat off, you gain weight. This means, if you take in less calories and burn more, you shed weight. Simple, right? On the contrary, this balancing act comes with its own set of complications.
3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat, and it’s estimated that you need to burn about 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound. So, in general, if you cut about 500 to 1,000 calories a day from your typical diet, you’d lose about 1 to 2 pounds a week.
If you lose weight as a result of less calorie intake, you usually lose a combination of lean tissue, fat, and water. Additionally, because of bodily changes due to weight loss, you may require to reduce calories further to continue losing weight.
There are many calorie-based diet fads in today’s world. Try not to follow them blindly. It is important to consult a dietitian, who can help chalk out a personalized plan for your health goals. If you are allergic to some foods, the dietitian will also take that into account for devising the right plan for you.
Should I count calories?
Yes! There’s no denying that calorie counting is essential in following any dietary regimen. But, the key is to not get obsessed with it and starve yourself, in anticipation of losing weight quickly.
Check food labels for calorie information, use calorie counting apps, and exercise portion control to monitor your calorie intake. Bundle these with regular physical activities and an active lifestyle to reach and maintain your weight goals.