What are Calories?
A calorie is a unit of energy. From a nutritional point of view all types of food from carbohydrates (sugars), fats, proteins or alcohol are sources of calories. In order for us to function and live a healthy life we need to ensure we're consuming the right amount of energy.
Our entire body is full of cells. In order for our Mind and Body (muscle tissue) to perform at its optimal state we need to ensure we have the right amount of energy (Food) being consumed. If we don't get enough nutrients from the calories we consume, we run the risk of negative consequences, whether it's losing lean muscle mass, not being able to concentrate or not having the energy we need on a daily basis.
How do I know how many calories to have?
From person to person it will vary. Four factor we take into account to determine the right amount of calories are: Lean Muscle Mass, Body Type ( Ectomorph / Mesomorph / Endomorph), daily activity level (desk worker, athlete, labourer, run after kids all day) and your desired outcome, your goal, whether it be a calorie deficit for fat loss, maintenance of calories to maintain weight or a surplus to increase lean muscle mass or performance.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides general guidelines of calorie requirements for various ages and activity levels. A middle-age moderately active female should consume 2,000 calories per day. A middle-age moderately active male should consume 2,400 to 2,600 calories per day.
Which Calories should I consume?
Again, from person to person will vary. Under the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI), 45 to 65 percent of calories should come from best choices of carbohydrates, 20 to 25 percent should come from fats and 10 to 35 percent should come from proteins.
It's important to understand Carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram, protein provides 4 calories per gram, and fat provides 9 calories per gram. Alcohol also has calories, 7 calories per gram, however our body see's alcohol as a toxin. Recommendation is to consume alcohol in moderation.
It's essential for our bodies to consume the right number of Macronutrients (carbs, protein and fats) and Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals)
Below we've listed examples of Calories in different food and drinks.
100g Sweet Potatoes - 15.2g carbs - 72 Calories
100g Apple - 9.8 carbs - 45 calories
100g Strawberries - 3 carbs - 19 Calories
100g Dark Chocolate - 62.6 carbs - 512 Calories - of which 52 grams is sugars plus 28grams of Fat
100g Chicken Breast - 29g Protein- 165 Calories
100g Salmon - 20g Protein - 202 Calories
100g Tofu - 11.9g Protein - 127 Calories
100g Steak - 32g Protein - 178 Calories
20g Almonds - 10.9g Fats - 120 Calories
20g Avocado - 4.2g Fats - 41 Calories
20g Olive Oil - 20g Fats - 177 Calories
120ml Red Wine - 82 Calories
1 Espresso Martini - 201 Calories
375ml Full Strength Beer - 136 Calories
1 Vodka Soda - 67 Calories
How to Stop YO YO dieting?
Firstly you need to understand your daily intake. How many calories per day should you have for fat loss and more importantly how many calories per day to have if on a maintenance calorie intake. Generally, we set a strict diet plan, lose weight and then have no further goals to keep the weight off. We then fall back into old habits and the weight creeps back on, sometimes with a little extra.
Understanding your calorie intake for fat loss vs a maintenance calorie is paramount for long term success. This way you'll know how many extra calories (food/energy) you can consume to maintain your weight, otherwise you may find yourself overconsuming calories, if this ends up being the case your body has no choice but to store extra calories as fat cells.
The difference in total calories on fat loss vs maintenance will vary person to person, however the difference could be between 400 - 600 calories per day. As you can see from the above a few wrong foods combined with some alcohol can tip you into a calorie surplus.
If you wish to find out more or how to calculate your daily calorie intake contact us www.visionpt.com.au/studios/prahran.
At Vision we break down macronutrients of Carbohydrates, Protein and Fats for each individual person and monitor thru our very own MyVision App.
If you're serious about getting in the best shape of your life, fast, we recommend to complete a food diary.