Calorie refers to the amount of energy a drink or food item provides when consumed. Think of it as a term as a measuring unit.
The body needs a certain level of energy to complete all its processes. Fuel for the body is harvested from these sources: stored fat, muscles and the food we eat. Usually, energy-rich foods like carbohydrates, protein and fat contain high levels of calories. When you eat high-calorie foods, the body only uses a certain amount of it. The rest is stored as fat.
How Many Calories Should You Consume Daily?
Your calorie consumption will depend on a number of factors. These factors include your weight, height and your physical activity level. Ideally, you want to stay a little below your daily recommended caloric intake. Otherwise, you will gain weight.
For women 19 to 30 years old, the recommended daily caloric intake should be 2,000. For men of the same age group, it’s 2,400.
For women ages 31 to 50 years old, the recommended caloric intake should be 1,800. Men of the same age group should consume 2,000 calories. But these units are measured for individuals with a BMI of 21.5 for adult females and 22.5 for adult men. So while a certain level of calories is recommended for a specific age group, this isn’t set in stone.
How to Consume the Right Amount of Calories per Day
Having Yourself Checked
If you are unsure about your personal daily caloric limit, consult a dietician. A professional dietician will also prepare a diet plan to help you regulate your caloric intake. If say, you are well beyond the healthy weight range, you’ll be required to limit your caloric intake by up to 400 calories per day. You will need to stick to a specific diet and get exercise so you’re burning off more calories than you consume.
Counting calories isn’t fun especially when you’re dining out. But this is a great way to control your caloric intake. Educate yourself about the caloric content of your favorite foods. These include snacks, meals, and beverages consumed over the course of the day. If you don’t want or can’t count calories, stick to controlling your portions instead. Keep the portions small so you don’t overeat. Remember, even low-calorie foods are fattening if you consume huge portions of them.
Making Better Food Choices
Choose foods that are low in calories. Compare different foods to ensure they fit within your caloric limit. For example, a 200 calorie snack is the best choice when compared with a 500 calorie snack. Don’t choose any food item blindly. Always go for the low-caloric options.
Checking the label or nutritional facts of food items also helps make better food choices. If there’s a low-fat or low-calorie option, go for it. If there’s none, find an alternative to a high-calorie food item.
If say you are dining out, go online and check the caloric content of the dishes you want to order. This gives you more time to plan your meal better.
A sedentary lifestyle coupled by eating calorific foods will lead to weight gain. If you want to stay within or below your caloric limit, get moving. Exercise daily or thrice per week to maintain your slender physique.