Should I Count Calories?

by | Dec 27, 2020 | Health, Nutrition | 0 comments

should i count calories

Should I Count Calories?

Calories – the amount of heat needed to heat 1 g of water per 1 degree Celsius, but kilocalories is the amount of heat needed to heat 1000 g of water per 1 degree Celsius.

In the International System of Units, energy (including heat) is expressed in joules. 1 calorie equals 4,186 joules, but 1 joule equals 0.239 calories.

In order for a person to ensure the balance of energy exchange, i.e. to eat a diet whose energy value covers the daily energy consumption, it is necessary to know the energy value of nutrients and the body’s energy consumption during rest and activities.

To determine the energy value of nutrients, special calorimeters are used to burn the nutrients and measure the amount of heat released.

  • 1 g of carbohydrates = 4.1 kcal (17.2 kJ)
  • 1 g of fat = 9.3 kcal (38.9 kJ)
  • 1g protein = 4 kcal (16.7 kJ)

Personal Experience

I encountered calorie counting for the first time during the study years, when it was necessary to do it within the study work. I was quite surprised by what I saw.

Often my kcal was between 1800-2100 kcal during the day, and given that I was studying, exercising and still working, it was not enough, but I felt good.

Now from time to time I do it deliberately to make a little control, to see what happens to my diet. What I eat more, what less, what is missing, what is too much.

I think it’s precious to keep track of yourself, read and write a nutrition diary from time to time to see what’s good and what still needs to be worked on.

If this has never been done, just like my customers, I recommend that you try to count calories for at least a week at first. This is the optimal time to resize the overall picture.

There are many applications available today, but I work with MyFitnessPal daily and my clients have found it good, but everyone can find the most suitable application, or, as in ancient times, write in a notebook and then count the nutrients that will take up longer than the application.

How to Calculate the Needed Calories

How to Calculate the Needed Calories?

To calculate the amount of calories needed, it is possible to use formulas that calculate the basal metabolic or basal metabolism and the calories needed to perform physical activities.

On the Internet, you can find ready-made formulas where you can enter your data – weight, height, gender, physical activity, etc., because all these parameters affect the amount of calories you need in your case.

Next, depending on your goal – if you want to gain weight, you will need to eat more or follow the calorie gain. Here, remember that to increase muscle mass, eating alone will not be enough, you will also need to exercise in the gym!

If you want to maintain weight, then you must follow the principle – how many calories do you consume is how much calories you have to burn. However, if the plan is to lose weight, you need to follow the calorie deficit or eat less than you consume.

If you are counting calories yourself, then the most common mistake that I often notice is that we impose too high an activity level than it is. So be honest with yourself – if you don’t have workouts 6x a week, don’t write that you have them!

Or, if you cheat at the very beginning, be prepared that there will be no results. The same goes for keeping a nutrition diary – write everything as it is.

Remember that calorie formulas are just formulas and the actual amount of calories needed to achieve one goal or another, one person or another may be different!

What Are the Potential Benefits of Calorie Counting?

You can test your diet and its quality. When counting calories, you keep track of the amount of nutrients you take in, and the distribution of nutrients, such as how much protein, carbohydrate and fat you take in during the day.

You may have too little protein in your diet, or, for example, too much fat, etc. – this calorie count helps you to notice these problems very well.

Counting calories makes it easier to keep track of your intake, which depends on your goal – whether it’s gaining weight, maintaining weight, or losing weight.

If you can’t cope on your own and don’t understand the amount of calories, you need or how many calories you need to consume, I’ll be happy to help you!

I have people with different goals in my circle of clients, so I have experience in different cases, and I believe that by working in a team we can achieve much more. 

When Is It Better Not to Calculate Calories, or When to Save Later

When Is It Better Not to Calculate Calories

We should postpone calorie counting and different diets in case of a history of eating disorders. This is a serious problem that should be entrusted to a knowledgeable professional in the field.

Even if an eating disorder has not been diagnosed, but there is a tendency for various misconceptions about your weight and diet, calorie counting may not be too healthy.

Likewise, be careful if there are any chronic illnesses, you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, in the elderly. This is true if you are thinking about losing weight! The purpose of why you want to do it is very important.

How To Count Calories When Eating Outside The Home?

Ask to have your food weighed before serving! Most likely, the waitress or waiter will look at you as a weirdo in the forest, because most guests do not, but it’s not crazy!

This is your health and your goal, so don’t be afraid to ask. If this is not possible, determine the amount of calories eaten at least approximately.

After a week, when you have already counted the calories, you will already know how many grams each product contains. Of course, it won’t be as accurate as weighing at home, but it will be much better than not writing anything!

How to Count Calories When Cooking for the Whole Family

How to Count Calories When Cooking for the Entire Family

Just like when preparing for yourself – count all the products together and then divide into portions. With MyFitnessPal, you can do this very easily.

Another positive thing is that, for example, if someone has already prepared a meal before you, it is possible to enter the product in the program in a ready-made way.

It should be remembered that we must administer all products fresh and dry, i.e. pasta, lentils and other products must be weighed dry, chicken fillet fresh, etc.

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