A calorie is defined as the amount of heat energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by 1°C.
Calories are used to describe the amount of energy your body gets from what you eat and drink. Calories are a way of keeping track of the body’s energy budget. A healthy balance occurs when we put in about as much energy as we lose.
Therefore, if we eat more calories than our body needs. The body stores energy reserves as fat in our cells and we will gain weight.
We can compare our bodies to the engine of a car, we put fuel (food) into and our bodies convert it into energy.
Energy is used by our body in 3 ways:
People may experience different effects even by eating the same amount of kcal because of factors like age, gender, body height, health status, physical activity and other more complex determinants. That is why it is so important that a diet is planned individually, taking into account these factors.
WHY EVERY CALORIE IS NOT EQUAL?
Kcal is an important and useful unit of measure, but it cannot be the ONLY thing to consider when determining your diet.
It’s important to make the distinction between quantity and quality. Even foods that have the same quantity of calories can be of different nutritional quality and can have very different effects on your health.
If we eat meals in accordance with the calories, and they have an inadequate volume and nutritional value – we disturb the two most important feelings regulating food intake: hunger and satiety for which our hormones are mainly responsible.
Our body needs the right amount of basic nutrients such as PROTEIN, CARBOHYDRATES and FAT. None of these ingredients should be avoided and they should be in the correct proportion given above in %. It is important to provide MINERALS AND VITAMINS as well.
The digestive system is strongly connected to other systems of our body. Diets should be rich in :
- complex carbohydrates (whole grain cereals, breads),
- protein (lean meat, fish, eggs, lean dairy products, pods),
- healthy fat (olive oil, rapeseed oil, seeds, nuts)
- vitamins and minerals (primarily vegetables and fruits)
Food rich in nutrients helps to keep us in good health. This is good for:
the nervous system
the circulatory system
the bone structure
the endocrine system
the metabolism system
“There are three reasons why calorie counting works:
- Tracking your calories can help you identify which eating patterns you need to modify to successfully lose weight (50Trusted Source).
- Despite its lack of precision, tracking what you eat can give you an approximate baseline to work from and compare to when you’re trying to reduce the total number of calories you eat per day.
- Finally, keeping track of what you eat can help you monitor your behavior. This may help keep you accountable for the daily choices you make and motivate you to continue progressing toward your goals
Counting calories can help you lose weight by giving you an overview of what you eat each day. This can help you identify eating patterns to modify, and can keep you on track to reach your goals.
However, avoid picking foods only based on their calorie content. Make sure you also consider their vitamin and mineral contents. You can do so by favouring whole, minimally processed foods.”
Dietician by profession and heart