It is important to understand calories and the part they play in dieting. Many people see calories as the number on the package of food that must be avoided. High calories means weight gain and people have developed a negative view of calories. In reality calories are not bad. Calories merely measure the amount of energy that can be obtained from eating a particular food. Overeating is what causes weight gain not calories. It is up to the individual to adjust his or caloric intake in order to maintain or lose weight.
Every person has a maximum caloric intake that is determined by a person’s age, weight and sex. Generally speaking men and those who are very active, such as professionally athletes, can consume more calories. In addition, pregnant women should also consume additional calories to get enough energy and nutrients for themselves and their babies. You can consult with your personal physician to find out how many calories you need to eat to maintain or lose weight or you can calculate your recommended caloric intake using a number or calorie calculators available on the internet. Knowing how many calories you should consume to maintain or lose weight will help you develop a meal plan and exercise regimen that will provide your desired weight goal.
Learning to obtain your calories from nutritious healthy food is an objective that many people have not successfully achieved. Some people will say that the recommended number of calories is not enough to keep them from feeling hungry; this is not true. Many people meet their daily caloric intake with empty junk food. Junk food is loaded with calories and saturated fat. Choosing healthier foods that are less in calories and contain more nutrients will ensure that you can eat sufficiently without overdoing your calorie consumption while simultaneously allowing your body to receive the vitamins and nutrients it needs for proper functioning. Instead of eating high calorie chips and sweets reach for healthier options such as a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts. Making the most of the calories you consume each day will ensure that your appetite is satiated and a healthy diet is maintained.
Whether consuming healthy food or junk food, eating in moderation will help you avoid gaining weight. Again calories don’t cause weight gain. Overeating causes weight gain. Many packaged foods have a nutritional label that details the amount of calories per serving. The serving amount should be noticed and adhered to in order to track calorie consumption. If there are 100 calories in a serving amount of 10 crackers and you eat half the box of crackers you can be pretty sure you have consumed more than the 100 calories per serving. This is the reason why some people continue to gain weight even while eating diet and low fat foods because they don’t adhere to the serving sizes. Serving sizes are a guide to how much food you can eat calorie wise and following this will ensure that you stay within your daily calorie intake.
Making an effort to understand how calories work, whether slimming down for vanity or following a heart patient diet, will assist you in managing your food consumption for the ultimate health results.