Counting calories, is it a good thing or a bad thing?

Calorie Calculating - W8OFF

Did you know that bodybuilders started experimenting with bodybuilding in the 1970s and later embraced calorie counting in the 1908s as their best way to achieve leanness? That’s when the strict diets and the weighing every ounce.

If you’re still undecided on whether or not to count your calories, read on till the end, we’ll help you come to a verdict on what is right for you.

Some people think counting calories is a great thing to do, while others think it’s pointless. But who is right? Let’s find out.

What are calories?

A calorie is simply defined as a unit of energy or heat. Initially, a calorie was defined as the amount of heat required at a pressure of 1 standard atmosphere to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water to 1° Celsius.

In health and nutrition calories are referred to the energy you get from consuming a certain amount of food and drink. It also constitutes the amount of energy you use during any physical activity you engage in.

This is why calories are essential because they give you the energy you need to perform your daily activities—for example, walking, running, working and eating. But when we have excess calories, our body stores it as fat, and when we have too much, this is what causes us to gain weight because we’re not burning enough calories.

Today nearly every food you buy indicates the number of calories present in the food under the nutrition information on the package.

Calories counting, What is it?

Calorie counting is the process of counting and recording every ounce you consume and every trickle of drink every day. Knowing the number of calories you consume plays a significant role in your weight loss journey because if the amount of calories you consume is higher than the amount you burn off, you like to gain more weight. Counting calories helps you to limit how much food you consume, thus keep your weight in check.

How to count calories?

Today, thanks to new technology, you can use easily accessible mobile apps to count and keep track of your calories. But if you’re old school, you can journal the amount of food you eat or use a spreadsheet to record what you eat. Or use a calorie calculator. Here is a list of the best apps and websites to keep track of your calories. The best part is that they are free.

1.     Lose it

2.     My fitness pal

3.     Fat secret

4.     Cron-o-meter

5.     SparkePeople

How many calories should you eat?

Most people struggle with how many calories they should eat, but it all stems down to factors such as gender, age, weight and activity level. It also varies with the amount and type of food you eat.

For instance, if you exercise and engage in strenuous physical activity, you’ll need more calories than when you barely exercise or when you’re older. But if you’re overweight, you must reduce the amount of food you consume, to reduce your calories.

The number of calories you consume depends on whether you want to lose weight, gain weight or maintain weight.

Men, women and children should consume the following amounts of calories in general.

Men

Young men of 24 – 45 years require at least 2600 calories a day to maintain their weight. They also need 2100 calorie to lose 1 pound a week.

Women

Women of age 25-50 years require 2000 calories per day to maintain their weight and 1500 calories to lose 1 pound.

Children

An average toddler requires at least 1200 calories and almost 1400 calories. On the other hand, an average teenager requires at least 2000 calories and almost 2800 calories. Active teenagers need more calories because their levels of physical activity is higher as compared to toddlers.

Tips to reduce your daily calorie intake

1.   Drink more water

Did you know that drinking 8 glasses of water a day can help you burn up to 96 calories. Amazing right?

This is why you should increase your water intake if you aim to burn out calories.

Here’s a tip: drink some water before consuming food. This will reduce your appetite and make you feel a little fuller, therefore, consuming less food.

2.   Eat more protein

Eating protein helps you lower your calories because it’s nutritious. Therefore, you can eat a small amount while cutting your calories but still get the right amount of nutrients your body needs.

What’s more, it boosts your metabolism and reduces your appetite and the need to snack more.

3.   Avoid sugar foods

Eliminating sweet foods from a diet can be pretty challenging, but if you want to reduce your calories, challenge yourself and cut sugar soft drinks and fruit juices—for example, sodas and sugary beverages. Eat fruits instead. You’ll cut down your calories more easily.

4.   Workout and lift weight

When counting and eating fewer calories, you’re likely to develop less body weight and muscle mass. For this reason, you must exercise and work out to keep your metabolism and muscles active. You don’t have to hit the gym all the time. You can do simple exercise like push-ups from the comfort of your home.

Besides, when you exercise, you’ll enjoy other benefits like lower risk of obesity, diabetes, heart diseases and increase your longevity and strength.

5.   Reduce carbs

You should reduce your refined carbs intake because doing so will help you lower your appetite. And you can consume enough calories you can burn out quickly. Reducing your carb intake will also help you reduce your weight.

Furthermore, a low carb diet helps you reduce your chances of suffering from diabetes and other health problems.

Importance of counting calories

Counting calories is important because it helps you monitor the amount of food and calories you eat daily.

It helps you become a disciplined eater because when snacking throughout the day, it’s easy to lose track of the amount of food we eat especially when you like snacking any opportunity you get.

Counting calories is also vital if you want to lose weight or develop a certain physique for men.

Why are some people against counting calories?

Some prefer not to count calories because they think counting leads to an obsession with food, disorder, eating habits and an increase in depression and anxiety. It can lead to poor relationships with food and poor restrictive eating habits. Counting calories also tends to ignore the nutrient part of the food and focuses mainly on the amount and volume of their food.

Conclusion

I would like you to conclude that if you have the right tool to count the calories, it can be a helpful way to be aware of the foods you are eating (conscious eating), and it can help produce a calorie deficit to lose weight ultimately.

Counting calories keeps on your toes on your weight loss, weight gain and weight maintenance journey therefore you should embrace it. And just like we have discussed in the article, make sure you have the right equipment if you want to count your calories. And apply the tips to reduce your calories if that’s your aim.