Calories – fuel for the body

Calories – fuel for the body
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Victoria Mamaeva
Pharmaceutical Specialist

They say that in order to find harmony in all areas of life, you first need to harmonize the internal energy. If there are many problems that seem impossible to cope with, it’s worth starting with your body.

When reviewing your diet, you need to clearly distinguish between products that benefit our body and unnecessary slag that prevents you from wearing your favorite clothes, being deposited on your sides.

What are calories?

Calories measures the amount of energy you get from food. One calorie equals the amount of energy used to heat 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius.

In the body, calories are burned, being converted into heat, they are involved in metabolism, giving a person energy. Even during sleep, the process of burning calories does not stop, thereby maintaining homeostasis in the body. But when eating foods with excess calories, the body gets more harm than good. Substances that are not converted into energy during exercise or for the body to work form body fat.

How does the number of calories affect weight change?

The best option to maintain good health and shape is to burn exactly as many calories as the body needs. With proper calorie counting, you don’t have to go on a strict diet or starve yourself, and you can even afford a cake, while reducing the calorie content of subsequent meals.

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Men and women have different energy needs, but age, weight and metabolism are also taken into account when calculating the optimal number of calories. Since the latter factor plays an important role in the processing of food, someone can eat anything and not get fat, and someone even gains weight from diet foods.

It’s all about metabolism, if it slows down, then the conversion of food into energy is distorted. Thanks to the Harris-Benedict formula, you can calculate your average level of energy metabolism:

Formula for women:

5 + (10 weight in kg) + (6.25 height in cm) (age 5) = BMR


(10 weight in kg) + (6.25 height in cm) (5th age) 161 = BMR

Then the resulting figure should be multiplied by the level of activity:

  • With an inactive lifestyle, without playing sports, the number will be 1.4.
  • With little activity and with rare workouts 1-2 times a week – 1.6.
  • For those who are in constant motion, the number is 1.8.
  • For people whose work is associated with heavy physical exertion on the body -2.0.
Coconut milk – tropical superfood
Coconut milk – tropical superfood

Athletes should increase this coefficient by another 0.3. The result obtained is the optimal number of calories needed to maintain your constant weight.

How to calculate the number of calories for weight loss?

In order for weight loss not to become stressful for the body, depending on the amount of excess weight, you can lose 2-4 kg per month. Since during weight loss, there is a goal – to get rid of fat, then there are 7700 calories per 1 kg. Burning from 0.5 to 1 kg of fat weekly, you should combine training and proper nutrition, while getting rid of 3850 kcal.

To measure the calorie content of foods, you can use a calorimeter or a table with a detailed calculation of the energy value of foods per 100 grams. During sports activities, a fitness bracelet will be the best assistant in counting calories burned.

Influence of metabolism on the process of losing weight

In order to lose weight, it is not enough just to eat foods with a suitable calorie content for the diet, you also need to increase your activity, which will help you convert food into energy faster. This is especially true for people with a weak metabolism.

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In order to speed it up, you should follow these recommendations:

  • Walk more often, it will not only contribute to weight loss, but also cheer you up.
  • Aerobic training is great for burning fat and boosting your metabolism, as long as the sessions last longer than 30 minutes.
  • Drink a glass of warm water in the morning on an empty stomach.
  • Eat 1 grapefruit before going to bed, thanks to this, you can get rid of night trips to the refrigerator, insomnia and improve digestion.
  • Add spinach and cabbage to your meals, these products will saturate the body with useful substances and relieve hunger for a long time.
  • Remove fast food and fast carbohydrates from your diet.

How many calories do you need to maintain vital functions?

Normally, these numbers are different for women and men. Due to the fact that men have more muscle mass than women and the metabolism is faster, only to maintain the constancy of the body and the normal functioning of organs, 1,500 calories per day are required.

Ginkgo Biloba is a humble herb with a rich potency
Ginkgo Biloba is a humble herb with a rich potency

In women, the opposite is true, nature has provided that excess nutrients pass into fat in the lower abdomen, sides and thighs in order to protect future offspring. That is why it is so difficult for women to lose weight in these areas of the body. For a minimum energy supply of the female body, 1200 calories per day are required. But this does not mean that you need to starve and limit yourself to these numbers, the main thing is not to reduce your diet below the indicated calories.

Proper nutrition

On average, in the presence of sports, the calorie content of food for women who want to lose weight is 1700-2000 kcal, for men – 2000-2300 kcal per day. Breakfast should be the most high-calorie, and dinner, on the contrary, should be light and until 18.00. Food products should be not only low-calorie, but also healthy, so it’s worth dividing them into categories:

Non-Benefiting Calories

Simple carbohydrates, which include: cakes, pastries, cookies, muffins, white bread, sugary sodas, juices with a high sugar content.

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Saturated fats and trans fats are found in lard, butter, full-fat sour cream, donuts, chips, crackers, hamburgers, fried wings, potatoes, and so on.

Healthy calories are found in foods:

Complex carbohydrates:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Grains
  • Unhusked rice
  • Beans, chickpeas
  • Whole grain bread

Unsaturated fats:

  • Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts
  • Fish (sea bass, carp, salmon)
  • Olive, linseed, cottonseed, pumpkin and walnut oils
Ikigai – Japanese philosophy of life
Ikigai – Japanese philosophy of life

Remember that it is important not to damage the body by losing weight, so keep an eye on the amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in your food. It is worth consuming about 25 grams of unsaturated fats per 1000 kcal per day. The amount of protein needed for women is 58-78, for men – 65-117 g. In order to find out the required amount of carbohydrates per day, you need to multiply your own body weight by 3, and for athletes by 6.

The path to the perfect shape

  1. Take a notepad and write down the benefits of losing weight on page 1 and set a specific goal.
  2. Create your menu for the day, in accordance with the individually calculated Harris-Benedict formula, after deducting 550 calories.
  3. Drink more water and green tea.
  4. Choose the most suitable sport according to your abilities and attend at least 3 times a week.
  5. Keep a daily record of the energy value of meals consumed and calories burned during training.
  6. Eat at least your calorie allowance per day.
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