How Calorie Counting Works – A Simple Guide To Counting Calories

Calorie is the measure of the energy amount in food. Knowing the amount of calories in food helps you to balance the energy that gets to the body with the energy used when doing physical activity which is key in controlling weight.

The energy contained in food is measured in form of calories just like we measure weight of an item in kilograms.

Calories and energy balance

When you eat or drink, energy gets to the body in the form of calories and the body uses up that energy when doing physical activity. In order to maintain a stable weight the energy that gets to the body should be equal to that used up.

When we eat and drink, we’re putting energy (calories) into our bodies. The body then uses up that energy, and the more physical activity you do, the more energy (calories) are used.

Most adults take in more calories than needed with little to no physical activity, this makes them fat, is this you?

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Weight gain occurs when we take in more energy and use less. Over time the excess energy is stored in form of fat.

Checking calories in food

Knowing the amount of calories in food is useful when trying to lose weight or even when you need to maintain a healthy weight. Just ensure that you do not consume more calories that you use up. 

The calorie content in food is indicated on the back side of the packaging. The amount is written in kcals short form for kilocalories or kJ short form for kilojoules.

The label tells you how many calories are contained in 100 millilitres or 100 grams of the drink or food, therefore, you can compare the calorie content in different products. Some labels also state the amount of calories in a single portion of the food but the manufaturer’s idea of a proportion may not be the same as yours.

Yous should use the calorie information provided on a product to determine if a certain food fits your daily calorie requirement. Usually, a man needs 2500 calories to maintain a healthy weight while a woman needs 2000 calories. Therefore ensure that you take only enough or less if you want to shed some pounds.

In order to burn calories, you should engage in physical activity that will use up body energy, the more vigorous the activity is, the more calories you will use which eventually leads to weight loss.

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