The basics of counting calories
Your weight is a balancing act, and calories play a big role. If you consume more calories than you use up, your body stores them as excess body fat and you gain weight. And if you eat fewer calories or use up more calories through physical activity, you lose weight.
What are calories?
Calories are a measurement of the amount of energy in an item of food or drink. Our body has a constant demand for energy to keep functioning for all our daily activities.
Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins contain calories and are the main energy sources for our body. The calories you eat are either converted into physical energy or stored within your body as fat. Reducing the amount of calories you eat, and increasing physical activity will burn more calories and reduce your stored body fat.
3,500 calories equal about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat, it’s estimated that you need to burn about 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound.
If you cut about 500 calories a day from your typical diet, you could lose about 1 pound a week.
What is the recommended daily calorie intake?
Estimating calorie requirements takes in a lot of different factors including your age, sex, height, weight, level of physical activity, metabolic health, and more.
As a general guide, daily calorie requirements range from 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day for adult women, and 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day for adult men.
Tips for beginning to count your daily calorie intake:
Begin by writing down the foods you eat and the beverages you drink each day, this will help determine how many calories are in the foods and drinks you consume regularly.
Find ways to cut calories in your meals and snacks by swapping high-calorie foods for lower calorie options which are high in fiber and nutrients.
Rethink your drink. Think about how you can make better drink choices to reduce your calorie intake. You may find that you are consuming quite a few calories just in the beverages you have each day.
Learn about fruits and vegetables and their role in your weight management program. Try to cut calories by replacing fruit with vegetables in a meal.
Be aware of your portion sizes. It is very easy to unintentionally consume more calories than you need when eating larger portions.
Check food labels. Be sure to check the nutrition facts panel for the serving size and number of calories per serving.
Use a calorie counter or other tools to count calories, such as websites or the Dario App.
Remember: for successful weight loss you also need to combine regular physical activity. Combining healthy eating and activity is the key to success in maintain a healthy weight or losing weight.
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The articles provided on this website are for informational purposes only. In addition, it is written for a generic audience and not a specific case; therefore, this information should not be used for diagnostic or medical treatment. This site does not attempt to replace the patient-physician relationship and fully recommends the reader to seek out the best care from his/her physician and/or diabetes educator.