Calories – Are They Bad For You?

What are calories?

A calorie is a unit of energy. Calories reflect the amount of energy in a given unit of food. Calorie values alone do not provide enough information on what foods to eat; you need to consider fats, carbohydrates, proteins and sugars. When you hear the phrase “empty calories” there is no such thing. Calories equal energy and are never empty. Maybe they are not providing much energy when combined with high fats and sugars, but energy is still needed for the body to function. Your body burns a great deal of fuel on any given day just to power basic processes and you need calories.

Calorie counting is a bad way to lose weight

Exercising and reducing calorie consumption will promote weight loss. If weight loss is that simple, why are we so overweight? Perhaps it is the calorie restrictions and exercises are being done inappropriately. Long term weight loss success is dependent on making less drastic changes that are permanent. If you are overzealous with calorie restrictions or exercises you will more than likely become fatigued, have a raging appetite, compromised health and a return to old habits.

It is rise to remember that not all calories are created equal. It has been simplified that calories in must equal calories out. In other words consume fewer calories than you burn. This will work if all calories are created equal. As an example, 100 calories of protein will not be used the same way as 100 calories of carbohydrates. The differences also depend on your body type.

A gram of fat comprises more than twice as many calories as a gram of carbohydrates or proteins. Fats are the first item to be removed when you are looking to cut calories. Fat, however is important to health and soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K are included in fats. You need the calories in fats to provide vitamins and energy. Those who follow a low fat diet generally eat more carbohydrates to compensate for the energy loss; this promotes weight gain. Those who eat fewer carbohydrates rely more on fats as a source of energy and this decreases the likeliness of fats being stored in the body. Conversely those who eat a low fat diet tend to eat an excessive amount of carbohydrates and they are much more likely to gain weight. The solution? Eat more fats and fewer carbohydrates to lose weight.

To summarize, eat healthy. Determine a balance between proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Calorie content is different between fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Eliminate sugar and processed foods whenever possible and create a diet based on natural whole foods. Eliminate grain based food, and potatoes that are high in starches. Be careful when consuming certain fruits. Watch your caloric intake of carbohydrates; you can’t avoid fats or carbohydrates altogether so just exercise, eat the proper balance of all foods and avoid counting calories.


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