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Calories – everything you need to know

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Calories - everything you need to know

What are calories and what do calories do to your body?

Calories – everything you need to know

Whether you want to lose weight, whether you want to take on, want to live a healthier life, or whether you are just generally curious about the body and diet, then calories are a concept you should definitely know about.

“Calories” – or “kcal”, is a word that is often used in different contexts. However, it often happens that people use the word without actually understanding it.

Calories – everything you need to know:

What are calories?
Where the calories are in the diet
How you can use calories to your advantage
How to calculate your calorie consumption

What are calories?

In short, calories are the unit of measurement that tells us something about the body’s needs, intake, and consumption. Calories are a measure of the energy which the body needs to perform all its many functions. It can be anything from pumping blood around to breath, to move and even to sleep. The body constantly has calorie consumption because the body is constantly active and in motion.

The calories come from our food. When you eat an apple, you consume a certain amount of calories. The number of “kcal”, which is indicated on the back of all food, tells us how much energy this food will contribute.

Calories – everything you need to know – Calories in proteins, carbohydrates, and fats

In addition to finding information about the number of calories, you will also find a table that shows how many grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fats are in the product. Kcal is of these three nutrients, where:

1 gram proteins = 4 kcal
1 gram carbohydrates = 4 kcal
1 gram fat = 9 kcal
Alcohol contains 7 calories. However, it is usually not considered in this context, as alcohol is not essential for humans, as the other three nutrients are.

Calories – everything you need to know – How should these calories be distributed?

All human beings have a certain calorie consumption. It is different from person to person and it depends on your gender, your body type, age and how active you are. You can’t say for sure how many calories an average person needs, but it’s possible to say something about where those calories should come from.

For an adult person with good health should:

15-20% of kcal come from proteins
45-65% of kcal come from carbohydrates
25-35% of kcal come from fat

This means the carbohydrates are the most important source of energy, which makes sense since such a large proportion of our diet consists of carbohydrates. They come from food like grain, vegetables, bread and fruits. The good thing about carbohydrates is that the energy from there lasts for a long time. On the other hand, fats are the most concentrated source of energy.

Calories – everything you need to know – How can you use calories?

Calories are the name of the energy that the body consumes and the energy that is to be found in the food’s nutrients. With this knowledge about calories, it’s possible to turn calories into your own advantage. Do you want to become thin? Do you want to gain a little? Do you not understand why you are always getting so tired along the day? The answers should be found in your calorie consumption.

As I have said, you need a certain amount of energy to keep the body running. And this amount of kcal varies from person to person. It’s important whether you get less or more energy than your body needs.

For example, if you burn 2500 calories in a day, you need to eat 2500 calories. Thus, it also makes sense that your body will lose weight if you burn more calories than you consume – and vice versa.

So, if you eat a total of 400 grams of fat, and you burn what is similar to 450 grams of fat, well, then you’re on the right track to lose weight. But if you burn only 350 grams of fat, you can even figure out where you are going.

How much do you lose in weight, by everyday activities

One hour of tidying-up is similar, for example, to the calorie content of a mars bar.
Raking leaves = 147 calories
According to the Texas Dietetic Association media representative and public relations write that in one hour a person who weighs 150 pounds will burn the following calories :
Weeding or Gardening = 306 calories
Moving (packing and unpacking) = 382 calories
Vacuuming = 238 calories
Cleaning the house = 204 calories
Playing with the kids (moderate activity level) = 272 calories
Mowing the lawn = 410 calories
Strolling = 206 calories
Sitting and watching TV = 80 calories
Biking to work (on a flat surface) = 440 calories

How many calories do you need?

It is impossible to give a precise answer as to this question. However, you can expect a number that is roughly equivalent to the activity you perform in a day. The Institute of Medicine in the United States has come up with some goals that you can use as a guideline.

The following shows how many calories an ordinary man (with a BMI of 22.5) and an ordinary woman (with a BMI of 21.5) should ingest.

An average 30-year-old woman needs to ingest about 2000 calories per day.
For the same woman to lose one pound, she needs to ingest about 1500 calories per day.
In other words, the same woman needs to reduce ingestion by 3500 calories per week to lose one pound.
For men, an average 30-year-old needs to ingest about 2500 calories per day.
Also, this man needs to reduce the calories by approx 500 calories per day to lose one single pound.

This is a rough formula. However, this depends on numerous factors. These include current weight, your age, your height, activity levels, metabolic health and several others.

Calories – everything you need to know

Calories - everything you need to know

Calories – everything you need to know – Calories calculation

Use this calculator to measure Calorie Calculator – Daily Caloric Needs

The way to calculate your personal calorie consumption
There are some different ways to calculate how many calories you burn in a day. Thus you can also find out how many you need to burn or how little you have to eat in order to either lose weight or take on.

One way to calculate this is by making use of the Harris-Benedict formula. St Jeor and Mifflin revise this formula in 1990 to give a more precise output.

For Men:
Kcal = (5 x your weight in pounds) + (6.25 x your height in cm) – (5 x your age) + 5

For Women:
Kcal = (5 x your weight in pounds) + (6.25 x your height in cm) – (5 x Your age) – 161

So, if you are a woman aged 30, weighing 130 Pounds and have a height of 170, then the formula will look like this:
Kcal = (5 x 130) + (6.25 x 170) – (5 x 30) – 161
Kcal = 650 + 1062,5 – 130 – 161
Kcal = 1421,5

Multiply this number by the approximate physical activity that you perform during a day:

Calories – everything you need to know – Calories Factors

Activity during the weekKcal factor
None or very little activity during the weekKcal x 1,2
A little physical activity 1-3 times a weekKcal x 1,375
Moderate physical activity 3-5 times a weekKcal x 1,55
Hard physical activity 6-7 times a weekKcal x 1,725
Extreme physical activity 1-2 times a dayKcal x 1,9

This means that this woman would normally burn approximately 1954 calories over a day if she workout 1-3 times a week. Furthermore, she can believe in the fact, that if she consumes less than this number of calories, yes, she will ultimately lose weight. She may also choose to be more active, thus increasing the metabolism, even though calorie intake is still the same.

If you don’t want to calculate it yourself, you can also use an online calculation. Either way, you should always see this as an estimate, and not as a safe answer to how many calories you’ll need during a day.

In addition, you should remember that this calorie intake is your required intake – ie. What you must eat to keep your current weight. If you want weight loss, you can benefit from reducing approximately 500 calories from your daily calorie intake.
Aprox 500 calories per day x 7 = 3500 calories per week = one pound.

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