Calories, Control and Clarity

In Nutrition, Uncategorized by Polina

There are only two calorie “rules” to remember:

Rule 1: If you consume fewer calories than you use, you will lose weight – obvious and leads directly to Rule 2 as to control the intake makes sense to count calories.

Rule 2: Not all calories are the same – that’s where it gets confusing.

For starters, everything we do takes energy, including eating 🙂 And different foods require different amounts of energy (i.e. calories) to get processed. Protein takes the most energy to digest 20-30% of total calories, carbohydrates take 5-10% and fats about 3%. So if you eat 100 calories from protein, 20-30 of those calories will be used to digest and absorb this protein, and you’ll be left with a net 70-80 calories. Basically 100 calories from steak do not equal 100 calories from cake (this is just calories, not going into nutritional value of steak vs cake)

Another thing is that different methods of cooking changes So your 100gr of chicken breast might be 110 calories or 260 calories depending on whether it’s been steamed or fried…

Lastly, and for me most importantly, calorie counting is time consuming, can cause stress and potentially sets a mindset opposing to what a healthy lifestyle is all about – enjoyment! Keeping a food diary for better understanding of patterns and habits is very useful; obsessing over logging specifically 1500 calories a day is dangerous.

Also calorie values stated on the packaging can be very inaccurate, making all the hard work counting pointless.

Here is a great article from Precision Nutrition explaining whats and whys and those inaccuracies. 

And here is the infographic to download and keep.

We all need to be aware of how much in going in, especially if we are working on losing some kg or on gaining some, and surely simpler methods will make our journeys easier? So if you are watching your calorie intake or just want a simple way of how much is enough try this method instead of calorie counting – it eliminates the need for calculators and apps, after all usually we’ve our palms wherever we go 🙂