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Counting Calories

Simply defined, a calorie is a unit of energy, and in nutritional terms a calorie tends to represent the amount of energy that is present in a pre defined unit of food. This food could be a fat, carbohydrate or protein. The calories in food are actually known as kilo calories. Counting calories is relatively easy and effective for weight loss and treatment from obesity. Hence counting food calories is usually the first step to losing weight.

While monitoring the calorie intake count one needs to understand exactly what a calorie is and how it does apply to ones weight. The body uses the caloric energy to perform various tasks and functions on a day to day basis. Every individual has a certain caloric requirement depending on their lifestyle, weight and gender. An individual has a particular caloric requirement to maintain their current weight; if the person eats lesser calories or burns more calories than this caloric requirement then the person will lose weight eventually. This is known as a caloric deficit. As per the fitness calorie counter a caloric deficit of 3500 calories generally results in weight loss amounting to approximately one pound. Once a person determines how many calories are to be burned as per the calorie calculator in order to maintain their weight, then they can create their own caloric goals for losing weight. Many people have experienced that it is most effective and easiest to cut between 250 to 500 calories per day in order to lose weight. However people should not cut their calorie intake to below 1200 calories as by doping so they could be putting their health at risk. One of the most important steps of calorie counting is to control the size of the portions of food. One can control their intake of calories by measuring their intake of food as per the specified serving size. Another simple way of counting calories by portion control is to use measuring cups. The basic principle for calorie counting to lose weight is relatively easy as it mostly revolves around calorie output and intake. If the individual consumes more calories than what is burnt then the body tends to converts the extra calories into fat which is then stored in the body and results in weight gain. It is highly recommended to eat plenty of vegetables as part of a low calorie diet. These vegetables tend to be low in calories and fats but are high in nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Adversely some people get obsesses with counting food calories and losing weight. This may become addictive and even though they are at an ideal weight they may continue to reduce their calorie intake and thereby lose weight which will make them look very emaciated and then. In extreme cases obsession with counting calories and ones weight may also result in eating disorders.

The commonly known eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia and binge eating, Hence counting calories should be done in a scientific manner with the proper understand of various foods and their components. Although fruits should be incorporated into ones diet n a daily basis, their intake should be monitored on account of their high calorie count. Fast food calorie count is extremely essential as most of the fast foods or ready to eat foods such a shot dogs, burgers, pizzas, sausages, and processed meats may make the individual feel full but they do not meet the nutritional requirement of the body. Fast foods are usually loaded with empty calories that are converted into fat by the body and thus lead to weight gain over a period of time.

Submitted on August 5, 2010