How To Track Your Calories & Tips For Beginners
Useful math: how to count calories?
Surely you have heard the phrase more than once in order to keep yourself in shape, you need to count calories. But few people talk about how to do this, and the fact that calories are different is generally a great universal secret. Let's try to figure out how many calories a person needs per day and what is the difference between quality and empty calories, and tell you how to count them and why to do it.
What are calories?
The term calorie (from Latin calor - heat) introduced into scientific circulation French chemist Nicolas Clement-Desorm, although some kind of calorimeter appeared long before that. Such devices measured the amount of heat released in various physical, chemical and biological processes. And in 1780, the French scientist Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, in the course of experiments on a guinea pig, found that three important functions are connected in our body: respiration, nutrition and evaporation of water. Since then, they started talking about the fact that food burns in the body.
Only at the beginning of the twentieth century, the American doctor Lulu Hunt suggested using the term calorie in order to determine the energy value of foods. Now, the caloric content of food means the amount of energy that the body receives when it is fully absorbed.
How many calories do you need and why count them?
The rate of calorie intake is individual for each person. It is determined based on gender, weight, height, level of physical activity, age and other characteristics. Calories need to be calculated if you want to lose weight, gain or even maintain weight. In the case of losing weight, you need to artificially create a calorie deficit in order for the body to draw the missing energy from fats, i.e. consume about 20% less than the norm. For weight gain, on the contrary, we consume more calories and create a surplus.
According to nutritionists, you do not need to count calories only if you have already lost weight or gained weight and eat according to a completely familiar scheme, which suits you. Most likely, you already know your usual set of products that will keep your figure in perfect shape.
How to calculate calories?
Two of the most popular methods for calculating your calorie intake are Mifflin-San Georges and Harris-Benedict. Both are mathematical formulas. They allow you to calculate the number of calories that the body spends on basic metabolism.
Mifflin - Saint Geor formula :
- Women's formula: 10 x weight + 6.25 x height - 5 x age - 161;
- Men's formula: 10 x weight + 6.25 x height - 5 x years + 5.
- Harris-Benedict Formula:
- Women's formula: 655.1 + 9.563 x weight + 1.85 x height - 4.676 x age;
- Male formula: 66.5 + 13.75 x weight + 5.003 x height - 6.775 xage
To calculate the calories in your diet, you will need two of the most important tools. The first is a kitchen scale that allows you to accurately determine the amount of food consumed. The second is calorie tables and a notebook where you will write down the amount you eat, or a special application for your smartphone
Quantity or quality?
What is the difference between quality and empty calories? Fitness blogger Lucy Mountain is vividly answering this question on her Instagram.
We all remember that different substances are absorbed at different rates. It is this difference that is mainly inherent in understanding the quality of calories. Nutrients in food are of great importance. For example, eating 2,000 calories of chocolate (on average) around the clock is unlikely to gain weight, but the quality of the food will certainly affect your stomach. Let's imagine that for a day or two or three you eat exclusively chocolate.
Where can the body get other vitamins and minerals from? The same applies to nutrition exclusively with herbs and yoghurts. Sometimes, by indulging in delicious forbidden food, you not only reduce the risk of breakdowns, but also regulate the amount of PJU (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) and amino acids. So is it quantity or quality? The answer is simple: both.
Quality calories contain:
- whole grains
- lean meat
- fermented dairy products
Remember that balance is the foundation of good nutrition. Calories are responsible for your weight, and BJU is for health. Do not neglect either.