Calorie counting keeps a track of what and how much you eat and the physical activity you perform with that diet promotes a healthier living.
What is a Calorie?
Calories describe the energy provided to our body from the food we consume which is used in the basic body functions. We need calories to
In addition, for the energy our body needs to perform minor tasks. A balance between the calorie intake and burnt is very essential to promote a healthy lifestyle. It avoids weight gain and fat accumulation.
Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the main vital nutrients in the food we consume. Fats provide us double the amount of energy per gram as compared to carbohydrates and fats.
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Basal Metabolic Rate and Calorie counting
A person’s calorie intake should be almost the same as the amount they burn in a day. It helps to maintain weight and stay healthy. The amount of calories burnt in each body process defines our metabolism. It varies according to gender, age, weight, body temperature, climate, body size and hormone content. Thats why many people consuming high caloric food are not as obese as other people consuming same intake. Every person has a different Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).
An estimate of our BMR for every basic activity and daily based exercises can help determine the average amount of calories burnt in a day. Calorie counting helps us calculate our BMR.
An adult female has an average BMR of around 1400 calories, on the other hand an adult male has 1800 calories with normal weight and height. According to Banner Health, an average adult male of a height of 5 feet 9 inches should weigh around 72kg. A female has a height of 5 feet 4 inches should weight 54kg. We can calculate our BMR using our weight and height using the equation below.
BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)
Using the equations above we can calculate an estimate of our BMR, however they may not define the calories we burn in a day as they vary based on our physical activity and other factors. For example climate, hormones, genetics and body temperature.
To estimate the calories required by our body daily we can compute our BMR.
Someone performing little or no exercise needs around BMR x 1.2 calories,
A person performing exercise once to thrice a week needs around BMR x 1.375 calories,
If we do hard exercise for 6-7 days week, we would need around BMR x 1.725 calories,
Anyone doing physical job or hard exercise daily needs around BMR x 1.9 calories.
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Evaluating our daily calorie usage using the figures above gives an estimate of the calories required by our body and to maintain a healthy lifestyle the calories consumed should be almost the same as the one used up. Taking in more calories makes the extra nutrients get stored in our body as glycogen or fat stores beneath the muscles, in the liver and surrounding body organs and overtime leads to obesity and other related illnesses.
We consume most of the calories from the fatty food materials which fulfil our body needs and make the excess calories accumulate as fat enlarging our body size and putting on more weight. A balanced diet with a good portion of every nutrient focusing on the calorie counting of each food we consume helps maintain our body weight.
What is Calorie deficit?
Calorie deficit is required in order to shed the extra ‘stored’ calories. This helps us loose weight and requires consuming less calories than the amount required by our body. This way the body utilizes the stored calories and sheds fat accumulation and weight.
An estimate of the calorie counting for the basic food meals we consume.
- – Omelette / Fried / Boiled Egg (100-150) with 2 slices normal white / brown bread – 80-150 – Total of around 300 calories
- – Oatmeal – 70 calories
- – Corn flakes – 150 – 200 calories
- – French toast – 230 calories
- – Low fat milk – 110 calories
- – Salads without dressing – 50 calories
- – Sandwiches – 150 – 200
- – Burger – 250 – 300
- – Shawarma wraps – 290 calories
- – Soups – 100 – 150 calories
- – Noodles – 120 calories
- – Rice plate – 150 – 200 calories
- – Arabic bread – 160 calories
- – Chicken curry – 335 calories (1 cup)
- – Lentils – 230 calories (1 cup boiled)
- – Vegetable curry – 182 calories (1 cup)
In conclusion, a count and balance of the calories we consume throughout the day compared to the one used up helps in maintaining or losing weight. In addition, proper monitoring of our calorie intake and use can help us be safe from many diet related illnesses, keep us active, fit and healthy.