Eat healthy, drink lots of water, have enough sleep and exercise. This will give you a higher chance of losing weight and improving your health, which would result to a new, healthier you.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Calories; What is all the Counting About?

by Tom Rooney

You may have heard discussions about calories like; “home many calories are in that?” or “how many calories are you burning?” but what really is a calorie and what do the numbers mean? A calorie is really a unit of energy of heat and its expression has changed quite a bit since it was first introduced. Today’s definition is taken from Britannica Encyclopedia [the amount of heat required at a pressure of 1 standard atmosphere to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1° Celsius.] Of course most of us know about the term calorie when dealing with food so what would raising the temperature in water have to do with eating? Dietitians used the term calorie to mean what energy it takes to metabolize values of food, but this isn’t a true calorie but a Kilocalorie that is 1000 times the original calorie. So in real terms if a food item was 10 calories it is really talking about 10,000 calories of heat energy as defined by scientists. It’s hard enough to keep up what science tells us about a calorie, but I’ll try to explain this a little easier so that it makes sense for the average person concerned with their weight. The physical exertion you use in everyday activities needs energy to burn so that you can breath, sleep, walk, watch television, etc. and this comes from calories. In order to do more strenuous activities, you’ll need even more calories of “energy to burn”. At different times during the day (usually breakfast, lunch, and dinner) you need to replace those calories you burned and store more calories for what energy is needed in the future. Now calories come from almost every item you eat, and the amount of calories that you metabolize or burn is equal to what is necessary for you to exist. When you take in more calories (eat more food) that you’re required to need, the body stores this extra energy in fat cells for use later. When you have an excess of fat cell storage you increase the body mass or weight. This can have an effect on other areas of your body as the organs now need to work harder or grow larger to carry or maintain this extra energy storage. As an adult female you need around 1800 calories as defined by a dietitian and a male would need around 2000 average calories in order to maintain the current weight they have right now. Children need more and school age kids need about 3000 calories a day. They type a calories is also important and this is where people in the news discuss the 3 major areas of calories like fat, protein and carbohydrate. The amount of grams of each will closely equal calories by this simple formula: • Carbohydrates â€" 1 gram = 4 calories • Protein â€" 1 gram = 4 calories • Fat â€" 1 gram = 9 calories That means if you know how many grams of each one are in a food, you can calculate the total calories. You would multiply the number of grams by the number of calories in a gram of that food component. For example, if you have some potato chips (about 20 chips) has 10 grams of fat, 90 calories are from fat. That's 10 grams X 9 calories per gram. In order to change your body based upon energy use and storage is simple. If you want to gain weight, you would increase the amount of calories and reduce the energy necessary to burn existing or stored calories. For those wanting to reduce calories you just reverse the process. Decrease the amount of calories you take in and increase the amount of activity to burn existing storage. Many dietitians and physicians believe that the body can successfully lose 2 to 3 pounds of body mass each month by working on a 1500 calorie diet. You can check out more on what calories go with what foods at a free website called

About the Author
Tom Rooney has been writing about diet and exercise since 2002. He has shown individuals the ability to change their body with a simplistic approach and common sense.