Anybody who has spent a considerable amount of time learning to control their weight has examined in detail the intricacies of calories and their effect on weight gain or loss, as well as their importance in nutrition. Even knowing this, the true nature of calories sometimes is not understood so this is something we’ll discuss briefly here.
The Need For Calories
If you didn’t know, the body doesn’t distinguish a calorie as either being bad or good and processes each calorie the same. Knowing this, when trying to get a better grasp about calories, one should be knowledgeable about the fact that it’s possible to find calories that are far more nutrient dense than others. Kimberly Lummus, MS, RD, a public relationships coordinator for the Texas Dietetic Association mentions that the goal is to put together a meal plan that is as nutrient dense as possible to pack as much nutrition as one can in the least amount of calories.
“Our bodies cannot survive without calories and needs them for energy”, says Lummus. When simply taken at face value, calories get a bad reputation in the weight control game but knowing the importance of them for everything we do such as daily body function, makes it important that you understand them much more to get a grasp on any weight issues one may have.
All foods are composed of some combination of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats so it’s really about consuming only those that have the proper ratio to provide the necessary energy you need to survive. If you are looking to add lean muscle mass, more protein is necessary so find the best sources for it are how you can grow. Knowing your goals and paying attention to everything you eat by getting more acquainted with the nature of calories will help you achieve your goals. Stay away from any empty calories such as those found in junk foods and soft drinks.
Finding The Magic Caloric Number For You
As mentioned, it’s your goals that determine the right balance of calories for you. It’s pretty basic to understand that eating too many calories will lead to weight gain and eating too little will lead to weight loss. Focusing on the consuming aspect alone though is not factoring the amount of physical activity you may do. You can eat more but balance it with the right amount of exercise to manage your weight.
While the above is pretty straightforward, it does not also account for all the other variables one needs to consider such as age, height, current weight and predisposed genetic traits. When professionals consult with clients on caloric needs, all of those mentioned factors are taken into account to properly advise on caloric intake is necessary to lose or gain weight.
A general guideline is that men need between two thousand to twenty-four hundred calories to maintain their weight while women need significantly less at around 1500 calories per day. For anyone, consuming less than 1200 calories per day can be detrimental to your health so while it may sound right to drop those calories to lose more weight, this can compromise your health rather than help.
Growing children have much more need for an increase in calories so restricting them at that important stage is not recommended. Just be sure they are getting a good amount of nutrients from all food groups to ensure healthy growth.
No matter what age you are, though, the bulk of anyone’s calories should come from a variety of healthy foods and if one follows this and eliminates wasteful calories, a healthy lifestyle can be achieved.