Health Eating

Understanding Calories

Talk weight loss and calories is one of the first few words that come to mind. Calorie has a significant relationship with weight loss. So, if you wish to lose weight, you must understand all about calories.

What is a calorie?
Put in simple words, a calorie can be best described as the amount of energy present in a particular food item or a beverage. Your body needs calories in the form of energy to perform almost every function. From simply breathing to running around in the park, you need calories for everything.

How are calories related to weight?
It is the amount of calories that you consume that determine whether you are gaining or losing weight. Your body needs some amount of calories to maintain an ideal weight. When you are consuming lesser calories than the desired amount or burning more calories, then you are bound to lose weight.

How many calories do you need to lose weight?
In a bid to lose weight, you need to ascertain that you are consuming fewer calories than you need. But, how do you exactly know the amount of calories needed by your body? Well, there is more than just one way of going about the same. There are several websites that can tell your exact calorific requirements by providing details like your age, gender, and body weight.

How do I plan my meals based on calories?
Once you know your calorie requirements, you can plan your meals accordingly. For this, you would need to know the number of calories present in every food. Check the food labels before you buy any product. Food labels specify the 'calorie per serving'. This will help you know the amount of calories you are consuming.

The next subsequent step would be to plan your portions based on the calorific value. Since most food items specify the calorie count depending upon the serving, it is important for you to know the size of the serving too. You can restrict your calorie intake to the suggested amount only if you are eating in the right quantity. Using a measuring cup will be of great help here. For some foods like peanut butter, jam and the like, you may use a tablespoon.

How to monitor weight loss?
After you have quantified your servings and the amount of calories you are consuming, the next step is to monitor your calories. You need to keep a tab on the amount of calories you are consuming, and the calories that you are burning. If you find this difficult, you can seek help of certain websites that will help you know your calorie consumption by entering the foods that you have eaten during the day. You can keep on revising your calorie consumption to know if you can cut down on your calorie intake. Once you have been able to create a calorie deficit, you will start losing weight.

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