Have you ever found yourself looking at the calorie count on a food label? Maybe you’re making sure it does not have too many. So with every food item you buy you use a calculator to add the calories per serving.
One cup of cooked rice: 120. One mashed potato: 100. One cup of ice cream: 200. Maybe you liked math in school maybe not. Either way counting calories take the fun out of eating and life in general.
One thing for certain is that calories do exist and it is a measure of the energy we get from food. The average male needs 2500 calories per day while the average female needs 2000 calories of energy for the body to sustain itself.
Any excess calories are stored as fat and may cause a person to be overweight.
All calories are not treated the same by your body. For example, higher quality calories come from nutritious foods like avocado, nuts, broccoli, chicken and eggs. These fill you up quickly and leave you feeling full for a long time.
They also signal to your body to burn fat – it has to work harder to break down fiber versus processed foods. Alternatively, a diet that is full of processed foods and is high in sugar is not satisfying. You’ll overeat and cause your body to store more fat.
You might say your body runs on numbers. In other words 100 calories from brown rice is the same as 100 calories from a candy bar. However, calories is only part of the whole picture. You body’s goal is to keep you in a certain weight range.
It controls your appetite and metabolism through your brain, genes and hormones. For example, if you eat a lot one day your body burns more calories but lowers your appetite so you don’t overeat anymore.
The problem is that most people eat poor quality foods which have been associated with causing higher levels of body fat. To fight this some people decide to starve themselves.
Unfortunately, this has the reverse desired effect and prompts the body to slow down your metabolism. It burns less fat.
When you start eating normal again it signals to your body to store more fat in the event that it goes into starvation mode again. The body smartly adjusts according to how it’s treated.
Your focus should be on eating healthy foods. In that way you don’t have to count calories. Your body will also function correctly as it is now getting the nutrients that it needs. Stop counting numbers and focus on quality over quantity.
Choose quality foods like leafy green vegetables, fish, eggs, brown rice and vegetables. One thing for certain is that you won’t need to know the amount of calories they contain. You know for certain they’re quality healthy food.
Eat a fruit high in fiber like a nice juicy pear. It will keep you feeling full longer. Compare that to say eating a high calorie food like doughnut high in sugar.
Similarly, an egg omelette with onions, garlic, green peppers and mushrooms with low-fat cheese for breakfast is better than a high calorie food like bacon and pancake with syrup. A better choice will ensure you have extra calories to spare as the day progresses.
Your body will need calories for energy. However, don’t focus on counting calories to lose weight. Instead make better choices and make your calories count.
The people who usually write the numbers down are fitness models and body builders. They compete and need to know exactly what goes in their body. If you do look at the numbers use it as a guide to help you make good decisions.