Those who are wanting to lose weight are often calculative in how much calories they consume and how much they burn. After all weight gain is all about the calorie calculations.
Many believe in counting the calories whereas there are some for whom calorie count is outdated.
Let us understand the word calorie
Calorie is a unit of measurement for energy consumed or burned.
The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree is called calorie. Calorie is actually the amount of energy the body needs from foods you consume. The energy required by the body is used for performing physical activities, for heartbeat, breathing and also the mental activity.
Calorie is measured in terms of kilocalories i.e kcal however we use the word calorie rather than kilocalories.
The process of using calories
You get calories from foods you eat. The food undergoes digestion and it is broken down into smaller units which is then used to provide energy as per body’s requirement.
The energy is used by the body for proper functioning of lungs, kidney, brain, heart and nervous system. The total energy required for working of these organs is called basal metabolic rate and it makes a major part of the total energy required.
Next is digestion. Some part of the consumed calories is used for digestion and the energy required for digestion depends upon the food you consume.
Then comes physical activity. The remaining part of total energy is used for all the kinds of physical activities. So, how much energy you need depends upon the physical activities you perform.
Calories intake < calories burned = Weight loss
The body uses the basic level of calories required to perform the function of vital organs and the remaining calories is stored as fats and glycogen. So, if you consume calories more than required it leads to fat deposition whereas when you consume less energy the body uses the stored fat and thus due to calorie deficit there is loss of weight.
What makes people believe that calories count do not matter for weight loss
Scientifically speaking, loss of calories is the only thing required for losing fats. However, some believe that choosing what you eat is more important irrespective of the quantity you consume. This signifies that calorie deficit is not required for weight loss which is actually not true.
Reasons why people believe calorie is irrelevant to weight loss-
1.There is no accuracy of how much calorie you consume
2.The energy required to burn the protein in low carb diet does not make a significant difference in weight loss
3.Carbs get stored with water in the cells and if water level in the body declines there is decrease in the carb stores as well.
All this makes a person believe that a low carb diet helps in losing fat more quickly rather than calculating the calories. But if you go through all the evidence it is clear that calorie deficit is the only way for weight loss.
Calorie count is beneficial when you are trying to lose weight. Keeping a record of what you eat and how much you burn gives you a quick result in weight loss. The research done is a proof that people who record their calorie intake lose weight much earlier when compared to people who do not monitor.
How counting calorie works
It helps you to choose food that promotes weight loss and keeping a record of it keeps you aware about the high calorie foods you might eat.
Although one cannot measure the accurate calorie consumed but monitoring what you eat shall definitely help you to add or reduce the calories in daily routine.
Counting your calories also helps to keep an eye on your behavioral pattern. It helps you make a healthy choice and keeps you motivated to stay on the track.
The key to losing extra weight is shortage of energy. No matter if you count your calories or you don’t, what matters is the use of stored fats. So, what matters is the calorie deficit rather than counting or not counting the calories.
However, counting the calories helps in monitoring the diet. Apart from watching calories it is also important to check for vitamin and mineral content in the food. As two foods containing the same amounts of calories might have different levels of vitamins and minerals.
Thus, consuming less calories and burning more is the only way to reduce weight. It is important to know that all calories are not the same and one must make a choice according to the vitamin and mineral content in it. So, count the calories but without compromising the minerals and vitamins.