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Does Calorie Counting Matter?

14 July 2021

The onset of the pandemic saw most people in lockdown or quarantine with many workers losing their jobs. The gyms were closed and there were some places where only certain age groups were allowed to be outside, to keep the rate of infection low. This has caused people to stay indoors and move around less than they usually do.

More time was spent on self-fulfilling hobbies like making the dalgona coffee or baking banana bread at home, compared to exercising and working out. This has caused what is coined as the “pandemic weight”. More people have gained weight since they had to stay at home to avoid being infected by Covid-19.

Now that the vaccines have been rolled out and we are getting back to some sense of normality, a lot of people want to lose that pandemic weight they have gained to keep their bodies healthy. There are a lot of trendy diets and exercise regimens out there that promise fast weight loss.

However, it is good to remember that those who steadily but gradually lost weight over a period of time were more successful in keeping that extra weight off. That said, it’s recommended to cut calories and exercise steadily and add a bit more challenge as you go on. This would also prevent problems like nutrition, deficiency, and ulcer.

Trying to shave off extra weight takes a lot of dedication and commitment.

You have to be consistent at it. But the health benefits you will reap will be more advantageous for you compared to what eating too much or having a sedentary life can provide. Studies have shown that even a small weight loss, like 5 to 10 percent of your weight, has significant benefits to one’s health.

Not only will there be physical improvements like a more toned body shape, improved physical mobility, and increased energy levels, too. There are also studies that show that one's mood would be stable and more positive than it was. Losing weight is a milestone and a tangible achievement, that is why a boost in self-esteem and confidence in a person could be expected.

The proven theory about losing weight is that a person should be burning more calories than they consume.

That, or they should be eating less calories than they burn. Calorie counting is one way that you can keep the extra weight off, along with a 30-minute workout every day.

A paper found that people that included this in their weight loss program, lost an average of 9 pounds or 3.3 kilograms compared to those that didn’t. Recording what you eat and looking up their equivalent number of calories is a sure-fire way to plan your weight loss accordingly.

But what really is a calorie?

Generally, a calorie is used to define the amount of energy from food and drinks for the human body to be functional and perform activities. The amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 (one) gram of water in the body by 1 (one) degree is what a calorie is

In terms of food, the amount of energy we get from them is marked by the thousands of kilocalories (kcal). So when a package of food says 150 calories, this means there are 150 kilocalories in it. When you run on a treadmill for 30 minutes, that burns 300,000 calories or 300 kcal.

The amount of energy we get from food is dependent on what kind of food we eat. For example, carbohydrates like rice, bread, cereals, and others have approximately 4 (four) calories per gram. If we eat protein, like chicken, pork, beef, and others that would also be 4 (four) calories per gram.

 Fat from the likes of cooking oil, butter, meat lard, and others would have an approximate equivalent of 9 (nine) calories per gram. While alcoholic drinks like wine, beer, whisky would have 7 (seven) calories per gram.

This is just the basic approximation, there are books and online calorie counters you can use to check how many calories you take in your body by the gram. If you check these, you will have a more accurate number of calories which you can adjust according to your weight goal and target calorie per day. For a healthier calorie restriction process, you need to determine the exact amount of calories you should consume by your weight.

To compute the amount of calories your body needs, you can multiply your weight by pounds and multiply by 15.

For example, you are 155 pounds and moderately active, if you multiply that by 15 you’ll get 2,325 calories. That is the amount of calorie intake to maintain that 155 pounds. However, if you would like to lose weight you would need to eat food equivalent to less than that amount.

The safest way to lose extra pounds is to lose 1 to 2 pounds every week until you get to your target weight. If this is your goal, then you need to lose 500 to 1,000 calories off the amount of the calories you need to maintain your weight. So that 2,325 calories should only be around 1,825 to 1,325 calories only, coupled with an exercise regimen daily.

However, do note that one’s calorie intake should never be less than 1,200 for women and 1,500 for men. Unless supervised by a professional, you should not deprive your body of nutrients because it is needed by the body to function. An example of what happens when you constantly deprive the body of nutrients is bone problems.

Counting calories and the eventual meal planning that comes with it need to be recorded and computed for healthier meals.

In due time, you will see the changes you’ve worked hard for so patience is vital. 

For a more paperless and environment-friendly society that we are all working hard to have, it would be recommended to record your computations, plans, weight loss progress in an app or your phone. For computations, this can be done on whiteboards such as  FlexiSpot’s Height Adjustable Whiteboard Standing Desk. It can be a working desk you can write on with a whiteboard marker or propped up to be a full whiteboard for mind mapping and meal planning. 

It has a dry-erase whiteboard desktop which is also flippable for more functional use. The 4 (four) smooth-rolling casters make it possible to move at any location where you want to present, work, study, and more. The 3 (three) programmable presets allow you to save your posture to a standing or seating position. It also has an anti-collision system and a stackable design for easier storage.