What do we know about the great and terrible calories? Many people know that they should be counted. Fewer know how to count them. We’ve figured out the basic rules and realized that it’s complicated. But the good news is that modern technology will do everything for us.
Calories: What Are They and Why Do We Count Them?
A calorie is the energy that comes into the body with food. During the day, we consume it. If we spend more than we eat, we create a caloric deficit. And vice versa: if we spend less, there is a surplus. For example, those who work during the day and play at Hellspin1 in the evening spend much less than those who work out 2 or 3 times a week.
The fact is that 1 calorie is a little amount. Therefore, the value of food is measured in kilocalories (kcal), i.e. thousands of calories. It turns out that it’s more competent to say “I count kilocalories.” But we will use “calories” for convenience.
Counting calories is a good way to normalize your diet and get in shape. You will be able to control your weight (to keep it at the same level, to lose extra pounds or, on the contrary, to gain weight).
Here are a few reasons to count calories:
- You will clearly see how much real energy your food gives you.
- There are no restrictions: you can eat your favorite buns and sweets.
- You will have more healthy and wholesome food in your diet.
Of course, this method has its disadvantages. For example, too many factors can affect the results: genetic predisposition, disease, sedentary lifestyle, age, etc.
The Most Important Rule for Losing Weight
Finding the easiest way to lose weight is an eternal question. But we have the answer. These aren’t strict diets, but a calorie deficit. That is, you need to spend more than you get. This simple arithmetic is the basis of calorie-counting diets.
The deficit shouldn’t exceed 20% of the daily norm, otherwise you risk putting your body into starvation mode. In that case, you will lose weight by reducing muscle mass, not fat deposits.
In fact it cannot be called a diet because there are no strict restrictions: it’s allowed to eat sweets and even fast food. But, once you get into the essence, you will understand that food can be different in terms of satiety, and you will soon make your own choice in favor of calorie-dense, but nutritious food.
The fact is that we consume calories always and every day: on the way to work, on walks, playing with children, playing sports, etc. Even if we just lie there and do nothing, calories are still going out, because they ensure the vital functions of our body. The only question is how many.
The problem is that it’s impossible to tell exactly how much energy a person spends doing something. For example, while riding a bicycle it’s possible to burn from 500 to 2000 kcal. Why such a big difference? It depends on the baseline: the cyclist (age, weight, height), riding style, and intensity.
What You Need to Know to Count Calories
Our basal metabolism is our starting point. It’s the minimum amount of energy we need per day.
This figure is very individual and has to be counted separately for each person. We can give only general examples. For an average woman, it’s 1300-1500 kcal. For men, it’s 1500-2000 kcal.
But when calculating it’s necessary to consider not only the basic parameters, but also the type of occupation, as well as the amount of physical activity. For a person who works in an office or is engaged in heavy physical labor, the basic metabolism will be different, and, accordingly, so will the consumption.
Even the amount of stress we get in a day can affect the deficit, not to mention illness, sleep quality, and many other factors.
That’s why metabolism is a ballpark figure. After all, you can’t foresee everything.
The Best Calorie Counting Apps
This isn’t just a calculator. The app will become your food diary. You will find recipes for a balanced diet, selected especially for you. The program will track your physical activity and, of course, count calories.
YAZIO has free and paid versions. The latter will give you advanced features, such as tracking the sugar in your food.
It has all the standard and useful features: calorie counter, exercise tracking, food diary, diet calendar, weight control, etc.
The app can be synchronized with Samsung Health, Google Fit and Fitbit fitness devices.
In the extended paid version you get access to meal plans, depending on preference (keto diet, high-protein diet, etc.), water tracker, etc.
Popular features include a food diary, calorie calculator, diet and meal plans, grocery shopping list, etc.
One distinctive feature is the Life Score test with individual nutrition recommendations.
The app can be completely customizable: specify your daily calorie allowance, depending on your goal, record your body parameters and monitor their changes.
Remember: regular and balanced nutrition is the key to health. You can’t stop living a tasty life, and counting calories will help make your diet healthy.