Calories are the basic measurement of energy provided by a food. Calories
as we know are actually 1,000 calories or 1 Kcal, but we commonly refer
1 Kcal as a calorie. You can find the amount of calories for a food
product by looking at the nutritional label on the back
(For more information on Nutritional labels). Calories come from three sources.
Carbohydrates, fat, and protein.
|Energy Source||Kcals Per 1g|
As you can see, fat produces more calories compared to carbohydrates and proteins. Each person
has a requirement of calories in a day that they must consume. The R.D.A bases it standards
on a person with a need of 2,000 calories a day. Factors that can change this number are your
age, body size, metabolism, pregnancy, and daily activities. Certain people have higher metabolisms
(the rate at which your food is digested) and thus require more calories. Pregnant women must
acquire more calories to support the baby inside. And people who are more active, like athletes,
require more calories than the average person.
Tips on reducing your calorie intake
Be conscious of what you eat. Read the nutritional labels on the back. Avoid foods that have excess
amounts of calories.
Look for foods that are low fat or low in sugar. But still look at the back of the label, just
because they are low in fat and sugars does not always mean that the are low in calories.
Avoid drinks and juices. Most fruit juices contain 110 calories a cup. That's about three times
the actual fruit. Also most drinks are high is sugar such as soda. If you are going to drink
soda, drink the diet ones. They usually only contain 2 calories. And of course the best fluid to
drink is always water. It is good for your body (and required) and contains no calories at all.
Avoid fast foods. Some fast food meals can add up to 2,000 calories. You will have already taken
in your daily allowance in one sitting. Plus many fast food restaurants cook food in oils and fats
increasing your saturated fat intake.
Avoid empty calories. These are foods that are high in calories, but have little or no nutrient value.
Most sweets are in this category.