Understanding the concept of CALORIE
A Calorie is a unit of energy used to measure energy. Consumption of Food provides our body chemical energy for various functions of the body.
Some food items such as vegetables provide fewer calories whereas, others like ice creams provide more. Proteins and carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram and fats provide 9 calories per gram.
What are Empty Calories?
Empty calories are also known as bad calories. They are the ones derived from solid fats and added sugars from foods that provide energy but little or no other nutrition. Empty calories from food items complete the caloric intake but they are poor in providing other essential nutrients.
Most of the processed food items provide empty calories as they contain fats which are solid at room temperature. Many also contain added sugars.
Both solid and added sugars are used to enhance the food flavor but add a lot of bad calories which prevents weight loss and results in unhealthy weight gain.
People, Nowadays, consume readily available foods due to their busy schedules as these require less cooking or preparation time and tend to consume empty calories present in such food items. These calories lead to deposition of unwanted fats in the body which gives rise to many health problems such as obesity, cardiac problems, diabetes, etc.
Empty calories can also be found in many popular ready-made beverages and snacks.
Examples of some foods with Empty Calories
Cheese, butter, pizza, cake, sausages, pastries, sodas, ice creams, and cookies, etc all contain empty calories.
What are Good Calories?
Good calories are the ones which contain important nutrients like vitamins and minerals and antioxidants as well healthy fats. For example: Fruits contain natural sugars and provide us calories along with other essential nutrients, thus we can classify the calories we intake from fruits as good calories.
Good Calories are found in healthy food items such whole grains such as whole wheat bread, oats and brown rice and fruits and vegetables as they deliver us other important nutriends along with calories.
Consumption of 1200 calories a day with four or five 30-60 minute workout sessions a week can help one lose weight.
How to eat Healthy?
Consumption of huge portions of food and Junk foods loaded with empty calories lead to excess calorie consumption which satiates our hunger but also leaves our body wanting for more nutrients to meet the daily needs. This may lead to unbalanced energy levels and also leave you feeling fatigued all day. Read more about food and mood relationship.
It is important to complete the calorie deficit in our diet in order to maintain good health by consuming a balanced diet containing all the important nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals present in:
- Whole grains
- Nuts and seeds
- Milk, dairy, and eggs
- Fish and meat
How to Lose weight by counting Calories?
It is possible to make your own weight loss plan (Based on calorie counting) to lose weight. All you need to do is create a deficit by burning more calories than you consume while keeping in mind that your sources of calorie are not the ones that provide empty calories.
For example: If you consume 1200 calories and burn 1500 calories by exercising then a deficit of 500 calories will be made over the entire week. Meaning a total of 2000 calorie deficit over 4 weeks resulting in 2kg of weight reduction over the month.
Do remember NOT to consume less than 1000 calories a day as that is very bad for your health. A Healthy diet combined with regular exercise can prove important to lose weight and live healthily. Do remember to consume healthy calories and completely cut down on empty calories as otherwise, it will result in you losing muscle weight instead of the fat that has accumulated in your body.
Avoid empty calories whenever possible as can help promote better overall health. Make smarter food choices to maintain health.
Proofread and Edited By Samara Vivian.