Calories are one of the most important nutritional values in developing the physique of your dreams. Understanding how they affect your desired food intake and the way your body changes is how you leverage them. These are the general points that will be covered to help you know everything you need to about calories

  1. The Calories in Food
  2. Why Calories Are Important
  3. High Calorie vs Low Calorie Foods
  4. Should You Count the Calories You Eat
  5. How to Count the Calories You Eat

The Calories in Food

Calories are units of energy which are found in all food and drinks that you consume. No matter how large or small the food contents are, they all have calories. They are your fuel during the day and play a part in ensuring the daily functions of your body and keeping you full during the day.

The calories of food can be found on the packaging of the food by the nutritional information section where energy is written. In South Africa, it is usually written in kilojoules (kJ) to convert it to kilocalories (kcal) you multiply by 0,239006 and vice versa

The Importance of Calories

Understanding them will help calculate how much you are eating in all that you consume. How much you should be eating to lose fat or build muscle. They also ensure that you can eat according to your physique and fitness goals, no matter what you eat.

You are burning calories every day to carry out daily functions like breathing, walking, sitting etc. The fact they are found in everything you consume, it ensures that your energy can be replenished when it is required.

Should You Count Your Calories

Calorie counting is a 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. 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 in achieving your health and fitness goals. Counting calories can be a great difference maker in all gains and losses you body makes.

How to Count Them If You Want To

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
Activity Factor Table

Low Calorie vs High Calorie Foods

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 consume 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 4 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 have a balanced diet and live a balanced lifestyle.

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 without counting them at all.

I hope that this has helped and you’ll be able to achieve your fitness goals soon enough.

If you want assistance with it, please feel free to subscribe to the Fitness As Tradition email list to receive tips based on your goals, body and schedule.


34 Comments

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