What Are Calories?

It is one of the most important nutrition facts in building the physique of your dreams, understanding how they affect your desired food intake and your body is very important in how you work towards your fitness goals, which brings me to the general points I’ll be covering:

  1. What are calories in food?
  2. Why calories are important in food?
  3. High calorie vs low calorie foods?
  4. Should you count the calories you eat?
  5. How to count the calories you eat?

CALORIES IN FOOD AND THEIR IMPORTANCE

Calories are units of energy which are found in all food you eat and everything you drink, no matter how large or small the food contents, they are there – from water to your Big Mac, they all have calories. They are your fuel during the day and play a part in ensuring the daily functions of your body and they keep you full during the day.

Calories are important as they ensure that you are fuelled during the day with them being in all food and beverages, knowing them will help calculate how much you are eating in all that you consume, how much you should be eating and ensure that you can eat according to your physique and fitness goals, because you burning energy every day to breathe, walk, sit etc. the fact they are found in everything you consume, it ensures that your energy can be replenished where it is required.

COUNTING CALORIES (Should you?)

Calorie counting is a pivotal basic in ensuring that your food intake can be managed, some people do it and some don’t, some rely on it as a learning curve in knowing how much food you should be eating and how much of certain foods you should be eating, but others listen to their body’s and take note of what changes occur when they consistently eat in certain ways or certain things. This means that whether or not you count calories, it should all depend on what works for you according to your health and fitness goals.

Counting calories is something that I had discovered quite recently and feel it has proven to be a great difference maker in all gains and losses I’ve made on my body, the calories of food can be found at the back of the packaging by the nutritional information section where energy is written, it usually written in kilojoules (kJ) to convert it to kilocalories (kcal) you multiply by 0,239006.

There is a formula that can be used to count the number of calories that are required by your body no matter what your goals are, it is dependent on your body composition, your habits and your level of activity during the week, it will ensure that you eat according to your goals on a weekly basis to achieve the body that you desire – you will calculate how much energy your body uses daily – Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) = Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) x Activity Factor: :

1. Calculate Basal Metabolic Rate (The amount of energy consumed at rest)

Women BMR = 655 + (9.6 X weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)

Men BMR = 66 + (13.7 X weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)

2. Activity Factor (weekly activity)

Level of Activity Activity Value TDEE Calculation
Sedentary Little or 0 exercise/desk job TDEE = 1.2 x BMR
Lightly active Light exercise/ sports 1–3 days/ week TDEE = 1.375 x BMR
Moderately active Moderate exercise, sports 3–5 days/week TDEE = 1.55 x BMR
Very active Heavy exercise/ sports 6–7 days/week TDEE = 1.725 x BMR
Extremely active Very heavy exercise/physical job/training 2x/day TDEE = 1.9 x BMR

This TDEE value is what you’ll use a basis for how much more or less you should eat daily to achieve your physique goals. NOTE: 100 calories = 0,1 kg, therefore if you maintain a surplus or deficit of x calories daily you will achieve 0,x kg gains or losses on a weekly basis, ONLY IF that calorie intake is maintained the whole week.

LOW VS HIGH CALORIE MEALS

I thought you deserved at least some simple options you could use to start working towards your calorie intake goals and ultimately your physique goals, check them out below:

CONCLUSION

You can hit all the calories that you want often, but to achieve your health and fitness goals in this process of developing, building and maintaining your physique you need to work hard, be patient and consistent in the kitchen and in the gym, give yourself at least 12 weeks as a start to see progress to prevent disappointment in your expectations and ensure that you can sustain the routine that you are following.

Unless you’re planning on competing in bodybuilding events, you don’t have to be eating whole foods, veggies and lean meat all the time to eat a balanced diet and live a balanced lifestyle, because once you have an understanding of calories and how to count them, you get to a point of knowing how to balance your weekly intake to get to the physique you desire and maintain, I hope that this has helped and you’ll be able to achieve it soon enough – this is one way to do – also understand that it may or may not work for you, so do what works for you!

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