It’s worth counting calories
Calorie (and indeed a kilocalorie) is a unit of energy. As some readers may remember from physics lessons in high school, energy (action) and matter (objects) are interchangeable. A given amount of energy can be transformed into a given amount of matter and vice versa. Simply put, the energy coming from food, or the dose of calories, is transformed into the matter of the body (blood, muscle, fat, bones and so on). Then the matter back becomes energy and powers the biological functions of the body, such as muscle spasms. So if the number of calories taken with food is greater than the number of calories consumed by biological functions, the body acquires mass (or matter), and if the amount of energy burned exceeds the amount of energy stored in the form of matter – skinny.
What is simple in theory can pose difficulties in practice. Counting calories to control body weight is problematic for two reasons. First of all, most people think that it is not worth spending so much time and effort on arduous calculations. Secondly, home methods are quite inaccurate.
Nevertheless, thanks to recent achievements, counting calories has become easier. Internet tools, such as applications on the TrainingPeaks website, contributed to the improvement of the process. In addition, the researchers found that calculating the energy value on their own does not have to meet the criterion of 100- or even 95-percent accuracy to be helpful. This is due to the fact of the control activity itself, resulting in increased awareness. People counting calories have more knowledge about food and automatically start eating better. They do not have to make special efforts to do this, but if they do, they gain even more.
Calculation of the energy value of food plays a similar role to the starter engine, thanks to which the space shuttle gets off the ground and gains the acceleration needed to overcome the strong gravitational field produced by our planet. But at some height the gravity pulls down. The engine is rejected and the shuttle can orbit without additional propulsion. In an analogous way, counting calories helps determine what, in what quantities and how often you should eat to achieve the start weight. Once this information is obtained, it is no longer needed and you can maintain a constant weight, observing the eating habits developed thanks to the initial analysis of the energy value of consumed products.
Two ways to count calories
There are two ways to count traditional and modern calories. The first is to write information from food product labels and to explore the energy value of non-prepacked food in such sources as, for example, books with calorie tables. To do this accurately, take portions into account. Suppose we have breakfast consisting of a bowl of Cheerios flakes with skimmed milk. According to the label, the portion of flakes is 110 kilocalories, and a glass of milk – 86. But morning hunger orders to eat a large bowl of Cheerios, so it is possible that a glass of milk will receive one and a half servings of flakes (normal proportions of about ¾ cup of milk per portion of flakes). As the example shows, care in counting calories requires – if necessary – to measure or weigh portions, not assume that we eat and drink in accordance with the manufacturer’s measurements.
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