Regardless of your fitness goals, it’s important to keep an eye on your calorie consumption to make sure your body is getting the required amount of energy it needs to function. Calories can be a tricky topic to discuss, and they are not something you need to obsess over to get your desired results; however, it’s important to have a general idea about them, so you don’t constantly over-indulge. Using an online calorie calculator tool can give you a rough idea of your ideal daily intake, and today we’re going to share our top tips for when you are considering the number of calories you need to consume daily.
How many calories should you eat in a day?
Your recommended daily calories depend on so many different factors including gender, age, height and weight. Other factors, such as the amount of physical activity you participate in each day can also increase or decrease your recommended intake, as well as your overall health. While online calorie calculators can give you a rough guideline for the number of calories you should consume in a day, it’s impossible for them to truly know your body’s needs and should be treated as a guideline. Calorie counters take into account your Body Mass Index (BMI) and activity level, and from there will provide you with the recommendation for your diet. If you are trying to lose or gain weight, you can then take this figure and adjust it accordingly to fit your needs. As a general guideline, men should consume around 2,500 calories a day, and women need around 2,000.
Reducing calories to lose weight
If you are starting your weight loss journey, counting calories can be an important tool to help you track your diet and progress. You’ll be aiming to have a calorie deficit each day, which is when you eat fewer calories each day than your body burns. In turn, this will help you to lose weight as your body will burn muscle or fat. However, to maintain good health while trying to lose weight, it’s important to eat a well-balanced diet that provides you with the required vitamins and minerals you need. Avoid eating food which is full of empty calories, such as alcohol and candy, and instead, focus on nutrient-dense options such as vegetables and fruit.
How are calories calculated?
You may be wondering how a calorie is calculated, and it’s quite a complicated process! If you want to try this at home, start by placing water in a beaker, which is then put on top of a tripod with a thermometer inside the beaker. You’ll then weigh out your food, which will then be put on a skewer and set on fire, before being placed into the water. When the food is fully burnt, you’ll measure how many degrees the water temperature has changed by. To get your final calorie measurement, a kilocalorie is needed to heat one kg of water by one degree. This is how you’ll get the final result of the kilocalories in each gram of your food. Of course, most food is packaged nowadays with clear nutritional values, but it’s interesting to know exactly how calories are measured!
When used in a sensible way, calorie tracking is a helpful tool for your weight loss and fitness journey and can help you keep track of your daily food and drink consumption. Remember to always use calories as a guideline and don’t deprive yourself of good nutrition by becoming obsessed with the numbers on packets.