The Importance of The Calorie
Few topics in health and nutrition are obsessed over as much as the simple calorie. Many dieters worry that they are consuming too many calories for weight loss. Manufacturers product 100 calorie packs of sugary or salty snacks. Diet programs ask participants to log their calories carefully. However, few people really understand what a calorie is, why it matters, and how many they should consume in a day.
Types of Calories
Calories found in food come from fats, proteins and carbohydrates. One gram of protein or carbohydrate is equal to 4 calories, while 1g of fat is equal to 9 calories. The calories you consume should include a balance of each of the three types of calories. When dieting, it is particularly important to have a balanced meal, in order to provide your body with enough nutrients. The USDA Food Guide Pyramid suggests you consume about 45 to 65 percent of your calories from carbohydrates, 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories from fat, and 10 to 35 percent from proteins.
How Many Calories Are Needed
You should know that in order to lose weight you need to be in a caloric deficit meaning that you should eat less than you burn per day. So for example a moderately active individual burns 2500 calories per day, in order to lose 1 pound per week he needs to eat 2000 calories.
Now caloric deficit can be achieved both by dieting or exercising. Most times these two are performed in combination as it’s easier to eat something less than to exercise. Most individuals will find it easier to not eat a piece of cake before bed than to run for an hour. Other people find it easier to do the exact opposite but in the end they are both getting the same results.