What are calories?
Calories are a measure of energy, normally used to measure the energy content of food and drink.
Technically speaking, a dietary calorie is defined as the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius.
Our bodies use the calories in the food that we eat and drink for essential functions such as breathing and thinking, as well as day-to-day activities such as walking, talking and eating.
On average a man will use about 2,500 calries a day and a woman 1500 calaries a day just to keep their metabolism ticking over. If they get out of bed and do some work, their body will burn up more than that.
Everyone's weight, and the amount and rate it is gained and lost, depends on the amount of calories they consume and burn up. Bodies lose weight when less calories are consumed than the body uses.
Conversely, a body will increase in weight when more calories are eaten than are expended. As an approximation, to lose one pound of fat, a body needs to use up around 3,500 calories. This can be done either through exercise or diet.
Imagine for a minute a man weighing 14 or 15 stones wanting to lose one pound in a week. Through the use of an exercise regime alone, he will needs to run about 3.5 miles per day which is a total of 24.5 miles. This asumes that his diet stays the same.
If he relies solely on dieting, the same man would need to reduce his intake by some 500 calories each day, assuming that his exercise regime remains the same.
Authority Nutrition is an independent organisation that provides daily articles about nutrition, weight loss and health. All their statements are based on scientific evidence, and are written only by experts with a deep knowledge of nutrition. Their website is completely unbiased, and 100% independent. They are not sponsored by any industry or company.
On one of their pages they have a simple but highly accurate scientific calorie calculator, which we have found helps to track calorie intake and thus weight. There are five evidence-based tips on how to sustainably reduce calorie intake.
From your details entered into the calculator it will suggest calories you should be eating in a day to either maintain or lose weight.
In his health blog, Dr. John Briffa, analysed a study examining weight loss without dietary intervention.
In this study, 320 post-menopausal women whose weight ranged from normal to obese were randomised to either an additional exercise or no additional exercise group (the control group).
Those in the exercise group were instructed to take 45 minutes worth of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise, 5 times a week for a year. Both groups (the additional exercise and the control group) were instructed not to change their diets.
At the end of the first year, Dr Biffa found that the exercise group, compared to the control group, lost an average of 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of fat.
If you are one of those who would like to lose that amount of fat, you may be interested to hear what those ladies had to accomplish in terms of exercise to lose that much fat?
Exercise does not
make much difference
Weight Loss, mainly because, as is seen by leading nutritionist Doctor John Biffa, and others, calorie expenditure through exercise is relatively small in the grand scheme of things.
Most of our calories that we use every day are burned up just "staying alive." The amount our bodies burn in this way is known as our "resting metabolic rate." The amount of energy burned off per day by an average size man is over 2,000 calories, even if all they do is simply get out of bed! It takes a huge amount of additional exercise to make much of a difference to their calorific burn rate.
Importance of Diet
QUALITY & QUANTITY
Calories are useful for keeping tabs on the quantity of food you consume, but they don't measure the QUALITY of the food, or the drink.
When it comes to foods and the human body, a calorie is not necessarily a calorie.
One hundred calories of healthy and natural brocolli will have a very different effect on your health and well-being rather than 100 calories of of fried potatoes, particularly as french fries or as crisps, or a sugary doughnut.
The types of foods you eat have a huge effect on your health, so the composition of your diet is of considerable importance.
Different types of food have varying effects on hunger, appetite hormones and so the amount of calories that your body can burn from these can vary considerably.
A diet that is based on high-quality foods, such as those from plants or animals that have been minimally processed, is going to have more effect on weight loss.
Basing your diet on minimally processed foods is much more beneficial for your long-term health and weight loss.
Carbs & Calorie Counter
by Chris Ceyett
Now you can count both your carbs and calories with over 1700 photos of food and drink. This is a 352 page book, sent to you with FREE P&P.
Recognised all over the English speaking world as THE "carb & calorie counting bible". It has a unique visual method of showing hundreds of food photos that makes counting carbs and calories so simple and straight forward. Each food item has up to 6 portion photos, so it's a breeze to choose the right portions and make weight control easier.
This is a great resource for managing diabetes, a weight loss programme, portion control and or just general healthy eating.
* Over 1,700 food & drink photos
* Nutrients in colour-coded circles
* Values for carbs, calories,
protein, fat, saturated fat and fibre.
* Introduction on healthy eating,
nutrients, weight loss & diabetes
* The latest nutritional values
* Tables showing nutritional values
per 100g for selected foods
Do calories count?
You can often hear people claim that calories don’t matter and calorie counting is a waste of time.
However, when it comes to your weight, calories most certainly DO count.
This is a fact that has been proven time and time again in scientific experiments called overfeeding studies. The studies on the Authority Nutrition web site prove this.
These studies asked the subjects to deliberately overeat and subsequently they measured the impact on their weight and health.
All overfeeding studies have found that, when people eat more calories than they burn off each day, they gain weight.
The Carb and Calor Counter book includes 26 different colour-coded sections containing popular UK food and drink items:
Biscuits & Crackers, Bread, Breakfast, Cheese, Desserts, Drinks, Eggs, Fruit, Gluten Free, Meals, Meal Accompaniments, Meat, Chicken & Fish, Cakes & Bakery, Milk & Cream, Pasta & Noodles, Potatoes & Tubers, Nuts & Seeds, Rice & Grains,
plus Sandwiches, Soups, Snacks & Confectionery, Spreads & Sauces, Vegetarian Alternatives, Vegetables & Pulses, Yogurt and Eating Out.
A Woman's Needs
According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, women are likely to need between 1,600 and 2,400 calories a day, and men from 2,000 to 3,000. However, this depends on their age, size, height, lifestyle, overall health, and activity level.
Not all calories are equal
Some calories are much worse for you than others, according to a new researchg papetr Obesity reviews. Almost two dozen scientists agreed that getting fat was more to do with the nutritional value of the food we eat, rather than the number of calories it contains.
“Calories from any food have the potential to increase risk for obesity and cardio-metabolic disease because all calories can directly contribute to positive energy balance and fat gain,” the study says.
The report also says that aspartame (an artificial sweetener) won’t make you gain weight. "its not, previously published sults havbe been misleading and misquoted. The long and short of it is that no human studies on non-caloric sweeteners show weight gain, ” said Dr. Kimber Stanhope of the University of California.