Who doesn’t like to lose a pound or two and fit perfectly into their favorite dress? Well, no one! People are always trying out different types of diets and workout routines but usually fail to see the desired results. Whether you want to lose weight, maintain your current weight or just want to be healthy and more energetic in general, the best way to achieve this is to keep your calories in check. No matter how much you work out, the most vital part of your weight loss journey is your daily calorie intake.
What is a calorie?
A calorie is the amount of energy found in food represented by its serving size. It is a unit that is used to measure the energy that is released from the foods when it is consumed by the human body.
Good calories and bad calories
The best way to go about it is to keep a count of all the bad and good calories of what you consume in a day. Therefore, it is very important to know the difference between the two. Good calories come from all those items which are not processed and are in their natural state. They are usually in the form of fruits, vegetables, legumes, etc. Good calories provide healthy fats, vitamins, nutrients, and healthy carbs. Bad calories are usually found in processed foods and fast foods. They are full of preservatives, artificial colors and they provide you with very little to no nutrition.
Pros and cons of calorie counting
Several pros of calories counting:
- Helps in tracking what you eat: Calorie counting is the best way to keep a track of how much you eat in a day. It also helps in portion control. Once you get the idea of how many calories you consume in a day, it will automatically help you in eating smaller portions of food throughout the day, helping you achieve your fitness goals.
- You make better choices when it comes to food: When you are tracking down your calories, you will make better food choices. Tracking calories make you accountable for what you eat and there are fewer chances of cheating yourself. Calorie counting will help you in identifying which foods are more nutrient-dense and which foods lack nutrients so instead of eating a bagel in the morning, you would rather eat an apple.
- Encourages exercise: Exercising helps burn calories quickly. Knowing this will motivate you to burn the calories that you feel guilty of consuming and will encourage you to get up from your couch and get more active.
Several cons of calorie counting:
- It may lead to obsessive behavior: Constantly thinking about calories and workout can lead to obsessive behavior that might result in eating disorders that can be detrimental for the human body. The purpose of calorie counting should be focused on a healthy lifestyle rather than just focusing on losing the extra weight and putting yourself in danger.
- It may cause disconnect: The most vital part of weight loss and the calorie count is to listen to your body. Often it happens that when you are too focused on counting your calories and eat only what you think will help in losing weight, you miss out or purposely ignore what your body craves for more at that moment. So it is very important that you give yourself little treats between your calorie counting so that your body and mind both are at peace.
Whether you count calories or you don’t, the most important thing is to eat healthily and smartly. The two points that you should always bear in mind are to eat when you are hungry. Don’t starve yourself! You should eat whenever you feel hungry keeping in mind your calories. If you wait too long to eat, you might make poor food choices and overeat because you tend to eat too much when you are very hungry. And secondly, eat balanced food. Make sure you are eating everything that your body needs. Your food must contain all the nutrients, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins. A lack of any one of the macros can negatively impact the body either in the form of illness or exhaustion.
Summing up, calorie counting can be a great way to achieve your fitness goals, bearing in mind the difference between good and bad calories. Mixing it up with your favorite workout routine will help you reach your weight goals in no time!