How to Count Calories to Lose Weight? At first, we ask what we mean by calories, can we eat it? Calories allow us to operate daily and go to work or school. Similar to our car, the body needs energy resources to operate. In our modern lives, we sometimes without knowing to consume too many calories and gain significant weight. It results in our bodies struggling to keep up to burn those extra juices and keep your weight levels down.
Many times, we eat a lot of pleasant foods, but low activity levels prevent us from burning additional calories. It helps to look back and refer to how our ancestors lived. For example, farmers continued to eat large quantities of food but presented a busy lifestyle. Their bodies received sufficient time to burn the calories without turning into fat. It becomes important that we stay active aligned with our daily exercise program. The hunter-gatherers consumed a lot of protein but they presented a dynamic lifestyle.
If we dive into our historical paths, the previous generations worked hard during the day without sitting over long periods. Unfortunately, our modern times allowed us to become less active. This means we eat extensively without exercising. How many times do we eat chocolates in front of the TV or burgers with no form of exercise?
To allow our bodies to live healthily, the balanced approach becomes extensively important. To allow this to happen, we need a scientific weight-loss method and only eat what we need. Meaning it becomes important to work out concerning our lifestyle the number of food calories we allowed to consume without gaining weight. Diverse calculator types of methods one can find by online searching.
I, therefore, wrote an article focused on how to count calories to lose weight? First, we need to understand the meaning of calories before we count them.
What is the meaning of calories?
What is the meaning of calories? Our bodies need fuel to stay healthy, and we need calories to keep us going throughout the day. One calorie allows the energy required to increase 1 gram of water by 1 Celsius degree. In the scientific world, clever people refer to kilocalories that present a quantity of 1000 calories. In summary, the calories provide a sign of the energy content in our food (1).
Calories play an essential role when our bodies need to work and undertake basic humanly tasks, for example, drinking a glass of water (2). People with an ambition to lose 15% of their current weight already aim to make a significant difference. The generic calculations help, but we need to remember that people present different health systems and circumstances. Some calorie calculation numbers may agree with one body type but not necessarily another. It stays important to keep open-minded during the calculation process.
Diverse calorie tables provide insight into the level of energy we burn during exercise. For example, aerobics, swimming, polo, and golf present different calorie burns within an hour. If a person watches TV, you can lose 89 calories in an hour. But if you watch a movie and eat a packet of chips, it can cause your calories to spike! High-calorie intake but low levels of exercise result in significant weight increase. How do we manage our weight gain?
The management of weight gain involves more than starving ourselves. In some instances, if we prevent eating, it can limit weight loss. Individuals serious about weight loss need to follow a scientific approach aligned with the calculation of calories.
Calculation of our calories plays a key role in ensuring our bodies function orderly and within a good balance. One should keep in mind that the calculations provide an estimate and other health factors may play a role.
If you struggle with weight loss even after keeping a calorie count, it becomes important to visit a nutrition professional who can assist. Sometimes different factors influence the manner our bodies operate that requires input from your medical doctor. It helps to receive input from a dietician or medical specialist to guide the weight loss process. Now we need to develop an understanding of the number of calories we can consume.
Do we know the average calories we can consume? The average calorie count comes to 1200 per day and allows individuals to live a much healthier life. Research has shown that people who consume lesser calories do not necessarily lose weight. It depends on your body’s metabolism rate and how your system balances your calorie intake (7). The average calorie intake aligns with what, how and when you eat. One needs to eat as much as your body can burn without storing unnecessary fat.
It sounds complicated, but if a person follows the basic principles of counting calories it most definitely assists with your diet program. The following paragraph attempts to guide how you can start with a calorie count. It also explains some well-recognized formula names and diverse factors you need to take into account.
What steps should I take before I calculate my calories?
Few simple steps provide a person with insight into the basic approach required to start with calorie calculation, for example (5):
- Undertake self-research and determine the quantity of weight you should lose. Set your weight loss objectives and stick them against your wall.
- Develop an understanding of your metabolism rate. Males and females present different metabolism rates that influence your calorie burn.
- Refer to your activity levels as described earlier on and determine your physical activity levels. Identify a calorie calculator that includes your activity rates.
- Develop a weight loss program aligned with your bodily make-up or visit a dietician who can assist with the formulation of a well-defined diet program. Many foods can impact our calorie counts. For example, some foods can increase the numbers significantly, even if you eat a small portion.
What involves the calorie count theory?
What involves the calorie count theory? Many factors play a role during the process. The burning of calories depends on a person’s body size and physical activity levels that burn those energies we receive by eating our favorite meals.
Diverse calculation formulas allow normal people to gain insight into the number of calories we consume. It also provides us with a method to logically think about how we manage our food intake. If we continue to eat and increase our calories, it impacts our health status. Also, diverse food types impact calorie levels and how quickly our bodies can burn them.
It becomes critical to take time and understand how our bodies operate. If we understand the quantity of food we allowed to eat, it allows us to plan our diets accordingly.
Luckily, many scientists invested a lot of time to develop gadgets or programs that can assist with calorie calculations. These methods supported by traditional diet journals or more modern software programs make our lives a lot easier. Many calculators provide insight into the number of calories one burns when undertaking different exercises.
These estimates allow a person to determine if an individual needs to become more active. We also need to take into account the work-related activities we take part in. People who sit in front of a computer, work as a truck driver, or as a fitness trainer present different calorie burn levels.
Undertaking research also helps with determining your calorie burn and weight loss goals. The science aligned with your everyday lifestyle presents an extraordinary insight into how a body operates.
Some formulas recommended allows an individual to determine an estimate calorie count aligned with your food intake. These diverse recommendations include the following and calculations present different outcomes for men or women (9):
- Harris-Benedict Equation uses your height, body weight, and gender variables.
- Cunningham Equation includes your muscle mass to calculate the resting metabolic rate that you need to determine your calorie intake.
Researchers defined different methods of counting calories according to a scale of being light, moderate, very active or exceptionally active (1). One can also calculate calories by referring to the NEAT formula. The calculation focuses on the number of calories a person burns without exercising. These include cooking, washing, or removing mail from the letterbox. As a person can think, during many times we walk in the garden, look after the kids or mow the lawn. Although the activities allow us to burn calories, we still consume too much food. NEAT refers to non-exercise activity thermogenesis that allows us to burn calories daily (10).
A calorie calculator typically considers the following factors (8):
- Age plays a key role and impacts on your metabolism rate. The metabolism rate of a 20-year-old differs from a 50-year-old person.
- Gender can influence the rate your body process calories. Some formulas vary depending on males or females.
- The current weight provides an indicator of the quantity of weight you need to lose and an indication of the calorie burn required to reach a goal.
- Height aligned with your body shape influences the calculation significantly.
Exercise levels stay key. If you a book lover and sit on the couch most of the day, it may provide different results than the active cyclist. Taking into account what the calculator normally asks for, one needs to develop an understanding of the basic principles and the methods used to count calories.
How can one count calories?
To count your calories, an individual needs to undertake the following steps to determine if you overeating and exceeding the energy levels your body needs (3):
- Verify your weight aligned with the food you normally eat daily. Work out an estimate of calorie intake you require to stay wealthy.
- Determine the quantity of protein, fats, and carbohydrates you can consume without exceeding your calorie intake. Most dieticians recommend a balanced intake of 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 20% fat. This all depends on your lifestyle and activity levels (11).
- Visit different online programs or make use of calorie tracker gadgets available in your home, for example, your fitness watches, cell phones, or other equipment. Many online calorie trackers allow a person to gain insight into the calories you generally consume. Some programs relate to Eat Smart or Calories Per Meal.
- To know your calorie intake, present strict control of your food consumption and honestly measure the quantities of foods you eat.
- Each week tracks the progress you made by balancing your meals with the recommended calorie intake a person needs to stay healthy.
What resources help calculate my calories?
Calorie count seems similar than keep track of weight gain and sometimes feels tiring. If we prevent undertaking committed actions to determine our calorie intake, it limits us to gain an overall understanding of our weight loss challenges. Over the years, the medical industry, researchers and scientists have attempted to develop resources to support our goal to measure our calories.
The following recommendations provide us with direction to stay focused during calorie count (4):
- Develop and maintain a food journal to assist with calorie intake recording. Ensure to record the fruits, vegetables, proteins and other foods you consumed. Make a list of the drinks you had, beverages or added snacks during your relaxation times. Also, make a note of the exercises you took part in during the day. Attempt to calculate your estimate calorie intake by reviewing your food consumption.
- Follow a structured approach and create an Excel spreadsheet, list your foods, and the estimated calorie intakes. The Excel spreadsheet you can adapt by developing columns to display diverse food groups, estimate food weight, portion, or sizes. It sounds mundane, but it can create a lot of fun by sharing this diverse information with your friends. You can include in the spreadsheet targets you want to meet by the end of the week or month.
- Most people carry a smartphone with them that normally includes fitness, health, or calorie trackers. I recommend switching on the device and starting to actively measure the calories you consume. It provides a person with something to work towards during a weight loss program.
What foods can impact my calorie count?
Foods impact our calorie count within different levels. Some more than others, but it becomes important to understand why and when (6).
Sugar can dangerously increase your calories and impact our health status by increasing levels of diabetes or weight gain. Individuals should prevent sugar intake by examining different food groups or ingredients of prepared meals that contain high levels of sugar.
According to research, one single gram of fat presents nine calorie intakes. If you continue to eat high levels of fat, you may need to eat less of other food types.
Research indicated that refined carbohydrates, for example, white rice or bread, can increase calories to a significant number. If you a carbohydrate eater, stay with eating vegetables and fruits that contain healthy nutrients.
How to count calories to lose weight? The process becomes a lot more scientific when we study all the different formulas and calculations available. In the end, easy-to-use formulas available on diverse health blogs or websites provide methods to help with calculations. Each person comprises different sizes, activities and weight levels that impact the calorie count formula. It becomes important for an individual to start with the basics and determine what you normally eat. Thereafter, work out an estimate calorie count aligned with your food intake. Then include your estimate activity levels, your metabolism and any foods that may influence your calorie counts.
After taking all the variables in mind, a person can determine the best way forward to reduce your calorie consumption. The different formulas and calculations available on the web can sometimes feel overwhelming. It becomes important to rather make use of existing software programs or gadgets to assist us with the calculations. In some instances, people prefer traditional calculations.
Especially if you are a specialist in weight loss programs.
In conclusion, either focus on using the basic principles and developing a spreadsheet or a journal to determine your calorie intake. Thereafter, make a quick calculation by hand. In time you will develop an understanding of the food portions aligned with the estimate calories.
If you more of a gadget guru, you can search on the Internet to find the diverse calculation methods you can use. Calorie count should not develop into an obsession, where you become frantic. As much as we aim to follow a healthy lifestyle, it requires a logic approach. We need to take into consideration our age, health status, work, and home life to develop a healthy calorie intake.
We can count calories to lose weight, but it needs to follow a positive lifestyle and lots of positivity included. One should make a list of your key goals, your current lifestyle, and the future picture you aim for. All these factors may influence the way you see your weight loss goals and objectives planned to live a healthier life. Start counting those calories and reach your weight loss goals!