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Challenge of the Week: Calorie Counting
When it comes to food, there are two types of people in the world: those who count calories and those who don’t. Most people eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks in between without a second thought as to why they eat food, why they need to eat it, or even what macro- or micro-nutrients are and what they do for the body.
There are a many different types of body types, from small to big to short and tall, and while they have plenty to do with genetics and metabolism, food also comes into play in how we may look. Overeating may result in a larger frame and a larger body, while undereating may result in a smaller frame and a smaller body. Eating more fat and protein may cause a leaner body, while adding carbohydrates into the diet may cause the body to look more stocky and large. Whatever the case may be, everything always leads back to what we eat.
Calories are the energy that we intake when eating food. The body cannot survive without them and burns them for energy. An overabundance of calories is said to lead to weight gain, while underconsumption of calories may lead to weight loss. Most people tend to eat just enough calories that keep them at their specific weight for many years. Unfortunately, with the rise of obesity, this also means that there are plenty of people, especially children, that are consuming too many calories and not burning enough of them, leading to hefty weight gain.
Those who work in office jobs are no exempt from overeating calories as well, with many workplaces bringing in donuts, bagels, danishes, and other “junk foods” that add to our waistlines and our weights. Calories are plentiful everywhere and we often consume too many, without feeling full or satisfied. With some calorie counting, you may be able to get your weight under control, if it is a problem.
Depending on your height, weight, age, family history, activity level, and metabolism, you are recommended to consume a certain amount of calories each day. If you consume more, you may not see initial weight gain, but over time, it may happen. If you consume less, though recommended in only small amounts of time, you will have a better chance of losing weight. If you consume just the right amount for your body, you will maintain your weight.
This calorie counter will help you determine what you should be eating to lose weight, maintain weight, or gain weight. While you may use this as an advisory, it does not replace the knowledge and information of a certified doctor or nutritionist. While calorie counting is not for everyone, it does make you aware of how much you should be eating vs. how much you are eating, and the most important part of calorie counting is that you are made aware of the types of foods you are eating: from fats, carbohydrates, or proteins. Too much sugar? Not enough of something? There are plenty of programs and guides out there to help you understand your diet and lifestyle and adjust it to meet your goals, whether you want to lose weight, maintain weight, or gain weight.
This week, your challenge is to determine how many calories you are consuming using an online application like LoseIt!, MyFitnessPal, CalorieKing, etc., and adjust accordingly to what your goals are. You may just find that you needed to eat one less meal or one more snack a day to lose or gain weight. Skipping on those extra snacks that happen to be lying around in the office might be the best thing you do this week.