Calories are simply a measurement of energy used to measure the energy in food. We have to get energy from food and drinks in order to function and survive. But, in modern, western society, we often eat and drink more than we burn off. This excess energy consequently gets stored in the body as fat, causing weight gain.

Why Are Calories Important?

There’s a lot of information out in the community saying that calories don’t count and that focusing on them is time-wasting. But time and again, studies have proven that what you put in needs to be less than what you burn off to lose weight. To determine your energy needs Harvard Health Publishing offer an article on calorie counting made easy, to work out how much you need to reduce your caloric intake in order to lose weight.

How Many Calories Should You Eat?

Many factors influence the number of calories you need to maintain your weight. Gender, age, and activity level all play a part. People who lead a more active lifestyle will burn more energy and therefore require more calories in order to maintain their weight than an inactive person who weighs the same.

If you are trying to lose weight, you will need to create a calorie deficit. This is done by eating fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight.

In order to count your calories, you can try using calorie-counting books, or maybe a calorie-counting app such as My Fitness Pal.

Portion Control

A great way to manage your calorie intake is to portion your food. Nowadays, restaurants offer huge serving sizes that are a much larger portion than the average meal that you’d eat at home. To avoid overeating, you can weigh your food and measure your food to determine the serving size.

while it’s time-consuming, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with serving sizes. Packets of foods will display recommended serving sizes next to the calories or kilojoules. And calorie books and apps will offer serving amounts too.

Remember that portions will vary depending on what you’re eating. Fat weighs a lot more than protein and carbohydrates, so a meal with high levels of fat such as creamy pasta will be higher in calories. Therefore you may need smaller portions.

Healthy Choices

Eating a diet that’s highly nutritious is equally as important as managing your weight. Eating a diet full of fresh foods that are as unprocessed as possible will improve your health and well-being. And usually fresh, healthy foods are lower in calories anyway, and they’re a great way to bulk up your meals if you like bigger portions.

So there you have it. In order to lose weight, counting calories does help. It teaches you good habits regarding portion control, health, and nutrition and sets you up for long-term success.

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