Calories are units of energy and have a value, much the same as electricity, but calories are used to measure the amount of food people consume in relation to the amount of energy they use. The word would not concern anyone who hasn’t been overweight but is critical to anyone who wishes to know how to control their obesity.
It is common knowledge that the fewer calories a person consumes, the more weight they will lose, but this is partly a myth as low-calorie consumption can decrease the metabolic rate and set the body mechanism in starvation mode. The weight loss effect is very short lived and the dieter will often regress to an even more gluttonous lifestyle than before.
Counting Calories for Weight Loss
The correct way to reduce weight is not to deprive the body of food, but to exchange those products that are causing the excess weight with healthier products that are less fattening.
More calories are burned in fat from active persons than those who lead a sedentary lifestyle, which will not only make you obese, but will promote an unhealthy body prone to illnesses. Along with a sensible diet, it only takes a few daily exercises to fulfill the body’s need for a healthy circulation and therefore an adequate nutritional distribution.
As much as people are different in gender, age and weight, they will possess differing metabolic rates; for instance, the speed of the dual biological process of turning organic matter into energy. Therefore, each group of people has different calorific needs related to the amount of energy they expend.
How Many Calories Should I Eat?
Men generally need around 2000 to 2500 calories a day and women need around 1500 to 2500 calories a day, but again variations depend on age, weight, height, and lifestyle activity.
There isn’t any need to be ignorant of your daily calorific needs as the internet is full of sites with calorie charts giving the calorific values of several types of food. In a short while you can compile a menu of healthy foods with low calories and eventually become an expert in counting calories.
To remain in optimum health you will initially have to calculate your calories to total over 1000 in the short term, increasing to around or just over 1500 per day until you reach a comfort level for your lifestyle. Nevertheless, you will need to have enough calories to stay healthy.
As a rule of thumb, this would be the calorie needs of the groups:
- 1800 to 1900 daily – Women aged 31 – 50 who do little exercise
- 2000 daily – Women aged 20 – 30 who do little exercise
- 2200 to 2300 daily – Men aged 31 – 50 who do little exercise
- 2400 daily – Men aged 20 – 30 who do little exercise
Children’s calorie needs:
- 1000 daily – Children aged 2 – 3
- 1100 to 1500 daily – Children aged 4 – 5
- 1800 to 3000 daily – Young boys aged 9 – 18
- 1800 to 2200 daily – Young girls aged 9 – 18
Seniors calorie needs:
- 1600 to 1700 daily – Women aged over 50 with little exercise
- 2000 to 2200 daily – Men aged over 50 with little exercise
Athletic or active individuals:
- 2500 to 3000 – Physically active men
- 2000 to 2500 – Physically active women
- 2300 to 2800 – Men aged over 50 physically active
- 1800 to 2300 – Women over 50 physically active
If you remember that your total calorie intake should be from a wholesome diet, you are on your way to a healthier lifestyle and a slimmer body. Eat a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates and fat; the proportions should be as follows:
- Protein 40% from fresh lean chicken, beef, turkey, fish, eggs, etc.
- Carbohydrates 40% from yams, oat bran, vegetables, fruit
- Fats 20% from omega 3 rich foods like salmon, flax-seed, avocado, and supplements of fish oil capsules
Once you have mastered the healthy alternative menus and have control of your consumption by watching calories, you will have changed your lifestyle and it will show. There are many weight loss websites on the internet that will let you know how many calories you should eat a day. Just find a good one and follow the routine.
Instead of Counting Calories Focus on a Healthy Diet
When your diet has all the required nutrients and in the right proportions, you would not have any reason to be bothered about the amount of calories you need. Your body gets the supply of all the necessary nutrients such as proteins, fat, water, minerals, vitamins, calories etc. a well-proportioned diet gets you all the necessary nutrients to have healthy organs such as your heart, kidneys, muscles, stomach, skin etc.
Your muscles would also be favored by good dietary intake and this would enable you experience a healthy weight loss and no harm would be done to your body in the process. Let your healthy eating habit include fruits, vegetables and lots of water. You will have to do away or cut to the barest minimum your intake of unhealthy food types like sugary meals, burgers, pizza, muffins, cakes etc. if you indeed want to experience a healthy weight loss. Failure to adhere to this will result into the accumulation of fat in your body which will get you overweight.