No diet is complete without calculating the calories. Calories play an important role in determining how quickly and how much weight you will lose in a given period of time.
If you are someone trying to lose weight or to stay fit and healthy, then you might be well aware of the importance of calories in versus calories out. It is basically referred to the number of calories you eat and the number of calories you burn to reach your weight loss goals. However, some studies suggest that the calories eaten and calories burned model does not really work. Here in this article, we will evaluate whether counting calories really matter or not.
Calorie in versus Calorie out model
It is believed that to maintain stable body weight, the number of calories you eat should match with the number of calories you burn.
Calorie in is referred to the number of calories you get from the food you eat, while calorie out is the number of calories you burn.
Food is the only source of calories intake. Different food items contain different amounts of calories. But our body burns those calories in 3 different ways:
Basic metabolism: It is referred to the number of calories required to keep the body functioning at rest like a heartbeat, respiration. The process is generally called as our basal metabolic rate (BMR).
Digestion: 15 to 20 per cent of the calories we eat is used to fuel up the digestion process. This process is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF) and varies as per the foods you eat.
Physical activity: The remaining calories are used to perform various physical activities like workouts and everyday tasks like walking, reading, and washing dishes.
It is essential to maintain a good balance between the number of calories you eat and the number of calories you burn to keep your weight stable. If your calorie intake is more than the number of calories you burn then your body will start accumulating the remaining calories, leading to weight gain.
If you are someone trying to lose weight, then you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. Once your body utilises all the calories consumed on that particular day, they will use the extra calories stored in different parts of the body to meet the requirement. This will help you to burn the stored fat in the body and thus you will shed kilos.
A person needs to eat 500 fewer calories every day to lose 500 grams of weight in a week.
The link between calories and your health
It is important to count your calories when you are watching your weight, but health is more than ‘calories in vs. calories out’. This is because different types of food items have different health benefits, regardless of calorie contents. If you aim to stay healthy then more than calorie intake, you must worry about the amount of nutrient you take in a day.