Friday, 25 April 2008

The truth behind calories...

Understanding calories is important in a balanced diet… now I at a young impressionable age of 19 years old looked at the media and read various articles in magazine telling us how bad calories are and how we should have as little as possible in our diets. Now here is where the misconceptions come from…

Calories believe it or not are actually a measurement of energy, and what do we need energy for… yes, survival. All foods contain calories this is a fact. Science defines a calorie as “the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by one degree Celsius.”

To grow your body needs calories, especially if you do physical activities and for maintenance. It’s like putting petrol in a car someone once told me. The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council suggest for women 25-50 years of age who are 5 feet 4 inches tall is 2200 calories.

The number of calories your body needs depends on your weight, height, age, body size, physical condition and how often you are physically active. Weight gain takes place only if your body exceeds its maximum intake of calories where excess calories are stored as fat, making you gain weight. I suggest this would be two 3 course meals and a fry up each day... not good!

In a balance diet it is also important to keep track of how much fat, carbohydrates and protein are in the foods you eat. If your body is not properly fuelled your energy levels will drop

Its simple really and taken me many years to learn…

  • Eat more than you burn and you gain weight

  • Eat less and you lose weight

  • Whatever calories you eat in excess of what you need; whether fat, protein or carbohydrates - get stored as fat.

There were days I used to feel like a zombie as I didn’t have enough energy to stand, I would stumble in the street, have blurred vision and why put yourself through that to look better, this is when you start to lose who you really are and it’s a slippery road to take!
There are three ways to unbalance what is known as the Energy Balance Equation, in order to lose weight:

  • Eat fewer calories than you normally burn.

  • Eat the calories you eat now and increase the amount you burn, or

  • Do a little of both of the above by increasing what you burn and decreasing the amount you eat. This is the best option, and will guarantee your success.

So don’t be fooled by what you here, take my advice and if you want to stay trim do it the sensible way.

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