Today, with advances in food science and other related fields, almost all of us are aware of the secret of weight loss: to reduce the amount of calories we consume daily from the amount of calories we burn in the body to the ideal weight. Let’s reach. Simply put, calorie counting is the process by which almost all diets based on weight loss and slimming are regulated. The question that arises is what exactly does this calorie counting process mean for losing weight? How can it be properly and accurately implemented in the diet? And if implemented, how likely is it to achieve the desired result? In the following, we will find the answers to these questions based on the latest research done in this regard and also the opinion of some nutritionists. Stay with us.
What are calories?
Calories are accurate units of energy. Each calorie refers to the amount of energy required to heat one gram of water to the extent of one degree Celsius. The amount of calories in foods is measured in kilocalories. The highest amount of calories can be found in fats (9 kcal per gram of fat). The amount of calories per gram of carbohydrates and protein is about 4 kcal.
What does Calorie Counting Mean?
A calorie-counting diet, by its simplest definition, means measuring your daily calorie needs, and planning your diet so that your daily calorie intake is less than what your body needs (if, of course). The goal is to lose weight.).
The point to keep in mind is that this definition is very simplistic, and researchers and experts believe that there are many other issues that need to be addressed to achieve the desired result.
Determining the amount of calories you need daily is the first step to having a proper calorie counting diet. Before you can use such a diet for weight loss, maintaining your current weight or gaining weight, you need to know how to determine the amount of calories you need daily.
According to Simon Wilson, a nutritionist and owner of a diet counseling center in Philadelphia, it is virtually impossible to estimate the daily caloric intake for a group of people (for example, women, men, or children). This calorie intake is determined by indicators such as gender, age, daily activity and weight, and is unique to each person.
How can we know how many calories we need each day?
Various software and applications are available for this purpose. You provide information such as age, weight, height, gender, etc. to the relevant software, and based on this, it will tell you that during the day, depending on your goal (losing weight, maintaining current weight or increasing it), How many calories should you consume?
If you do not have the opportunity to find another application or software, Healthline website calorie calculator For example, it can be a good choice. Click on the link, a little lower you will access the part that you see in the image below:
Check the “Metric” option in front of the “Units” section. Fill in all the information carefully. Enter gender, age, height, weight and activity level in order from top to bottom, and finally, click on the “Calculate” option.
The result of the calculation will be displayed in an image similar to the one below, which consists of three parts: the first part from the left shows the daily calories needed to maintain the current weight, the second for weight loss and the third for rapid weight loss.
In the description of food packaging, the amount of calories per gram of that particular food is listed. Just measure the weight of what you are consuming with a kitchen scale and multiply the number on the package to find out the amount of calories in that amount. Based on this, you can count calories.
Quality versus quantity (nutritional value), in a calorie counting diet
We removed the first obstacle to having a proper calorie counting diet, which was the correct and principled determination of daily calorie intake. Now we need to draw your attention to another point: the fact that the quality of calories consumed is as important as its quantity (if not more important). If you focus only on the amount of calories in your food and do not care about the foods you eat calories from, you will have problems in the long run.
The importance of paying attention to food quality
Now I will explain the importance of paying attention to the caloric content of food with an example. Suppose we make a chocolate cake with about half a kilocalorie in each slice. Chocolate cake is full of sugar and sweets, and after eating it, it will not be long before you feel hungry. Now consider another meal that has the same amount of calories, but consists of a slice of chicken breast with a little brown rice and broccoli.
Obviously, the second meal will keep you full longer, because in addition to calories, it is a rich source of fiber and protein. On the other hand, slicing a chocolate cake due to its high sugar content causes unhealthy fluctuations in blood sugar (glucose) and you will feel hungry shortly after eating it.
So do not forget this important point when counting calories: Food value and quality of food are just as important as quantity, and in addition to counting calories, you should also pay attention to the foods from which you receive calories to achieve the desired result.
Calorie counting diet for weight loss and its relationship with metabolism in the body
Another important point about calorie counting for weight loss that you should consider is its relationship to the body’s metabolism.
For example, when you suddenly eliminate 500 calories from your diet, the secretion of hormones will affect the body’s metabolism. This means that in the long run, with the changes that occur, the possibility of releasing hormones that increase appetite will increase. In this case, the probability of achieving the desired result in weight loss and slimming will be less.
It is wiser to change your diet by taking smaller steps. For example, instead of reducing your daily calorie intake to 500 calories, reduce it to about 250 calories. In this way, the possibility of changes in the normal functioning of the body’s metabolism and the secretion of hormones will be reduced.
Calorie count in breastfeeding and pregnancy
The amount of calories needed daily for pregnant and lactating women is different from others. Because in addition to themselves, they must also think about providing the nutrients needed by the fetus or baby. If you plan to follow a high-calorie diet during pregnancy or breastfeeding, it is best to do so with expert advice and help.
In the end, is calorie counting a good way to lose weight?
The answer to this question largely depends on the approach you take when counting calories. Reducing your daily calorie intake and counting it alone, regardless of what we’ve said, probably won’t work.
Here are some key pointers in moving your calorie intake:
- First, you need to be aware of the amount of calories you need daily, according to factors such as age, gender, height, weight and daily activity;
- The next important point is the nutritional value of the foods you include in your diet. The amount of calories in a slice of chocolate cake may be the same as the amount of calories in a meal of chicken breast, brown rice and broccoli, but their nutritional value is by no means comparable;
- In general, you should focus on foods that are high in nutrients such as protein and fiber, and minimize the consumption of sweets, sugar, beverages and processed foods, and so on.
what is your opinion? How familiar are you with your calorie counting diet? Do you think it is a good approach to weight loss and slimming? What are your reasons for disagreeing or agreeing? Have you had any experience with taking this approach?
If you have an experience or opinion on the subject and questions mentioned, how can you share it with us and your audience in the “Post a Comment” section. Also, if you want to know more about calorie counting and related diet, or have a question in mind that remains unanswered in this article, you can ask in this section.