What are calories?

We all worry about how many calories we eat during the day. Thinking about how many calories can be good but it also can be very bad. If we don’t know what a calorie is then it can be hard to calculate how may you need and do they vary if they come from different foods. As a personal trainer in Windsor, I calculate the amount of calories some of my client should be consuming. This is to help them keep track during the day and it complements the programme accordingly.

A calorie is is the unit used to measure energy in the terms of food. Calories refer to energy consumption through food and drink. The food manufacturers put labels of how many calories are in each product for the consumer to keep an eye on how many are consumed during the day. This is to maintain a healthy diet.

The calories in food are determined on how much energy if will give us for use. But our bodies are very complex. Some cals can be used very quickly and some very slowly depending on how they are digested. Keep this in mind because if your recommended daily allowance is 2000 calories  that doesn’t mean you can drink this in sugary drinks and not eat anything else. The amount of calories in a certain food doesn’t mean that another will be the same size and fill you up.

How many do I need?

The amount of calories you need in your body is determined by your BMR (Basil metabolic rate). This is the amount you can consume without moving. Then there is a calculation for if you do light exercise, moderate exercise or hard exercise. To workout how many calories you need to gain weight, lose weight or maintain weight.

The RDA is 2000 cals for women and 2500 for men. However your BMR will determine your true intake. Taking into account your sex, age, weight and height. Giving you a more specific number.

Is 1 calorie always the same as the next?

If your always thinking that one food will fill you up the same as another then your wrong. A chai latte from Costa may look really small and taste really nice but it may be full of sugar (fast release carbohydrates) meaning that it could hold 400 cals without you even knowing it. This could be just under the same amount of calories that you eat for a lunch.

How to keep track of your intake?

If you find it hard to keep track of your exercise and calorie intake then there are a number of applications that can be used. My Fitness Pal and Fitbit keep track of the food and the exercise intake which can keep you on track towards your goals. Yu have to enter what food you have eaten and the amount in grams for the app to calculate your calories for the day.

How to lose weight sustainably?

Along with exercise you have to watch what you are eating to lose weight. You can’t just do exercise and hope for great results. Once you have calculated your BMR you will want to have a deficit to make sure that you burn more calories than what is consumed. I say a 400 cal deficit is a sustainable way to lose weight over time. If you want to lose weight you make sure less calories are going in. Its as simple as that. Be more conscious of what you are eating and how many calories are in the food you eat. Keep a healthy diet without refined carbs to increase the results.