One look at yourself in the mirror can disappoint you. You are trying hard to lose weight but all you can see is that you are gaining undesirable weight and feeling tired most of the times. It’s high time you know how to count calories you intake. By counting the calorie, you can make the much needed dietary changes in your lifestyle and control the intake of extra calories, which ultimately our body converts it into body fat.
How to count calories:
Our body needs calories to carry out the normal function properly. The calories we intake through food gives us energy, protein, carbohydrate, nutrients and fat to fuel our body. So when we eat food, our body converts it to fuel to produce energy.
From where do we get calories? The sources of calories in your food are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. How to count calories? One gram of carbohydrate has 4 calories and a gram of protein also has 4 calories, however a gram of fat contains 9 calories, which is more than double the amount of carbohydrates and proteins put together.
Kilojoules and calories calculations you must know:
1,000 calories = 1 kilocalorie or kcal.
239 calories= 1 kilojoule
1,000 joules = 1 kilojoules or kJ.
1 calorie = 4.2 joules so 1 kilocalorie = 4.2 kilojoules.
The energy value per GRAM of various food components
Alcohol = 29kJ (7 Cal)
Water = 0kJ (0 Cal)
Fat = 37kJ (9 Cal)
Protein = 17kJ (4 Cal)
Dietary fibre = 13kJ (3 Cal)
Carbohydrates = 16kJ (4 Cal)
How many calories should you need a day?
To stay healthy, ensure that your calorie intake is not lower than 1200 calories a day. According to USDA figures, an average male with height of 5 feet 10 inches and weight of 174 pounds requires 2,900 calories per day to perform basic daily activities. For an average female with 5 feet 4 inches and weighing 138 pounds has to intake, 2,200 calories per day.
What is your desirable weight?
Your Body Mass Index (BMI) decides whether you are overweight or underweight.
Tips on how to lose weight:
- Do not skip your breakfast. This is an important meal because your body absorbs as many nutrients as possible from the breakfast and this eventually helps in boosting your body metabolism.
- You tend to gain weight not because you don’t exercise, but because you don’t eat the right type of foods at the right time and right time interval. Eating 5-6 small meals is better than having one big meal
- Drink plently of water, eat your food slowly and chew it properly.
- Eat low fat, high carb foods like whole grain cereals and breads.
- Experiment with your food. Try a new healthy recipe every day. That will keep the diet boredom at bay.
- Eliminate high calorie foods, eg. fatty meats, oily dressings, regular soft drinks from your diet and replace them with lower-calorie options like fish, zero-calorie dressings and water.
- Your diet should include high fiber foods and low fat.
- Exercise regularly.
How to count calories is not difficult if you follow your diet plan and exercise regularly. Set a target for yourself, and focus on achieving it.