Counting Calories Is A Ridiculous Way To Try And Lose Weight | Think | NBC News
Nutrition myths and truths: is it worth counting calories to lose weight?
Today, in his author's column # Dietitian will tell doctor, cardiologist, candidate of medical sciences, member of the National Society of Nutritionists, Russian Cardiological Society, doctor WORLD CLASS Romanov Oksana Lishchenko will tell you how correctly count calories and not go crazy with their constant counting.
The most important law of nutritional science
In its simplest version, this law sounds like this: if you spend more calories than you eat, you you will definitely lose weight. This is a rule that works always, everywhere and with everyone! Unless, of course, you are a mutant or an alien. Let's deal with it.
The most important law of dietetics: the law of energy balance - the right balance between consumption and expenditure of calories. The energy value of the diet (calorie content) should be equal to the body's energy expenditure, if you consume more calories than you spend, they will begin to be deposited in the form of fat and excess weight, if less, then you will begin to lose weight.
So, there is a concept: main exchange is the minimum amount calories, which your body consumes every day, even when at rest, that is, when it lies and does not move. This waste is needed for the work of the heart, lungs, brain, to maintain body temperature, and so on. What kind of basal metabolic rate you will have depends on gender, height, age and weight. On average, for women it is approximately 1300-1500 kcal, and for men - 1500-2000 kcal.
Then, how to understand how many calories you need to eat to lose weight? If we calculated that you are spending 2000 calories, that is, you owe 20 percent less - that is, approximately 1600 calories.
Most importantly, the difference between consumption and consumption of calories should not be more than 20-30%, then we really create conditions in the body for fat burning and muscle gain, and do not put the body into a state of hunger or stress. For example, if, with an energy expenditure of 2000 kcal, a person receives 1000 kcal with food (a difference of 50%), he, of course, can lose weight, but, most likely, due to water and muscles. The body is severely calorie deficient, starving, and trying to store fat as a strategic energy store. At the same time, there is a very high probability of breakdowns, hormonal disruptions and the return of even more weight.
How to correctly calculate the calorie content of the diet?
1. Calculate your BASIC METABOLISM (Basal Metabolism)
- by the Harris-Benedict formula (pictured)
- found in the summary of body composition analysis (bioimpedance)
Example: your basal metabolic rate is 1600 kcal.
2. Add 10% of it to the basic exchange
(specific dynamic action of food)
Example: Add 10% (160 kcal) to the basic exchange 1600 kcal - we get 1760 kcal.
3. We multiply the resulting figure by your level of physical activity (which it will be in the near future). At the consultation, we calculate this point more accurately and individually - depending on the specific type of your physical activity (what kind of workouts, how many times a week, etc.).
Example: if you lead sedentary lifestyle (coefficient 1.4), then multiply 1760 kcal by 1.4 - we get 2464 kcal.
4. We calculate the diet depending on the weight goal: reduce weight - subtract 20%, maintain weight - do not change anything, gain weight - add 20%
Example: if you want to lose weight, then from 2464 kcal we subtract 20% (492.8 kcal) - we get 1971.2 kcal.
5. Rounding off the resulting figure - this is the calorie content of your diet.
Example: rounding 1971.2 kcal - we get 2000 kcal - with such a calorie diet, you will achieve your weight loss goal.
Don't want to count calories!
And you shouldn't count them! The calorie content and composition of the diet (proteins-fats-carbohydrates) are calculated by a nutritionist and translates all this into grams of food or any other easily understandable benchmarks (serving size in spoons, glasses, cups, and so on). Of course, when you are given recommendations in grams and you weigh food for several days, this is the most effective option for the correct change in body composition, the fastest leading to the coveted result - minus 4 kg of fat per month (and we have already discussed that these are very real and safe numbers and goals). After several days of weighing food, you yourself will begin to understand by eye how much salad, meat or porridge you should eat!
There are simplified techniques that help you choose the volume of food, focusing on visual cues - the size of a fist, half a plate like a golf ball and so on. Today we will tell you the SECRETS of nutrition for those who do not want to count calories and bother!
1. Plate Rule
What does the PERFECT PLATE look like with the correct distribution of food for lunch or dinner? Half of it should be vegetables and fruits (a source of fiber, dietary fiber), 1/4 of the plate is protein (meat, fish, poultry, seafood) and another 1/4 is carbohydrates in the form of a side dish (cereals, pasta, potatoes) or a slice of bread. Does your plate usually look like this? Check it out!
2. Hand Rule
You can use your palm to determine the recommended serving size for different foods in each meal:
1. high-protein food - should be the size of a palm without fingers, the same size and thickness (a piece of meat, fish, poultry, a portion of seafoodproducts, cottage cheese or eggs).
2. fruits and vegetables (in any form, except juices, for example, a portion of salad) - the size of a fist (and do not forget, you should eat at least 500 grams of vegetables and fruits per day), for losing weight we exclude potatoes (we refer to it as a side dish) and very sweet fruits - grapes, bananas, figs, dates, persimmon.
3. side dish (cereals, pasta, potatoes) - the size of a handful (how much will fit in the palm of your hand). This item can be replaced with 1-2 slices of yeast-free bread or loaves.
4. a portion of fat (butter, nuts, cheese, etc.) - the size of a thumb: a handful of nuts (about 30g per day), 1 tablespoon per day of any vegetable oil (as a salad dressing).
3. Food delivery services
For some people, ordering food through a food delivery service is a salvation. You and a nutritionist calculate the required calorie content and composition of the diet and choose a nutrition program from a variety of existing delivery services. Who is this method suitable for:
- for those who do not like or do not have time to cook,
- for those who need a quick, but at the same time correct and lasting effect of fat burning or gaining muscle mass (preparation for significant events in life),
- for those who want to get help (a kind of training in proper nutrition) in the early stages, and then continue to cook on their own,
- for women after the birth of a child, when it is necessary to do it right to reduce weight, but have no time to cook,
- for those who are busy at work, when it is more important to take up a career, but at the same time maintain the correct balanced diet.
Top 5 Bad Calorie Sources That Hinder Weight Loss
A few life hacks to help make your diet less nutritious:
1. keep in mind that vegetables, fruits, berries are also carbohydrates (and not just cereals and bread). These foods can also quietly overeat in calories,
2. remove animal fats from the diet (lard, fatty meat, fatty poultry, etc.), be careful with the correct healthy fats: nuts, cheese, avocados, olives,
3. exclude easily digestible carbohydrates (sugar, jam, candy, soda, confectionery),
4. limit starchy foods (bread, cereals, potatoes, pasta),
5. absolutely exclude alcohol - and here it is not only about the calorie content of alcoholic beverages! Everyone knows that a habit is formed in 21 days, and the development of new eating behaviors and new tastes is no exception. We focus on the consumption of a sufficient amount of protein products (meat, fish, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy products) and a large amount of vegetables, fruits, berries, on adherence to the drinking regime anddiet. And you will gradually form new favorite right foods with normal calories, which will bring pleasure, benefit and results.