Calories And Weight Loss Explained

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How many of you reading this can honestly say that hand on heart, you’re 100% happy with your body and have no desire nor need to lose any excess body fat. Not many I’m sure, but rest assured, you’re certainly not alone.

As you know, losing weight can be extremely troublesome, time consuming, frustrating, and even demoralising at times, whereas actually gaining weight is unfortunately far too easy. Some of us simply have to do nothing more than look at a pack of biscuits and we gain 2 lbs, which then takes days, or even weeks to lose again.

Yes, gaining weight is easy, and losing it is a different story altogether. It all basically comes down to our metabolisms and the calories contained within the foods we consume. Once you understand a little more about why and how we actually gain weight, it may very well make it easier to lose it again in the near future.

What are calories, and how do they result in us gaining or losing weight?
We live in a world littered full of so-called experts and gurus telling you to do one thing, whilst another tells you to do the exact opposite if you wish to lose weight. When you take away the unnecessary complications however, weight loss and weight gain is surprisingly simple, as it all comes down to a matter of calories going in, and calories going out.

As far as what a calories actually is, it is basically a form or measurement of energy for the body. When people mention calories, they tend to do so in the following contexts.

One example being in regards to food, such as ‘one chocolate bar contains around 350 calories’, with another example referencing exercise, such as ‘one hour on the treadmill burns around 500 calories on average’. The two examples actually make reference to calories going in, in the form of the chocolate bar, and calories going out, after running on the treadmill. In refers to what you consume, whilst out refers to however many your body is able to burn off.

As far as how they actually result in us gaining weight, it’s actually pretty simple. Your metabolism is responsible for burning calories in order to provide you with energy. The harder you work, the more calories your metabolism is able to burn off and convert into energy.

Everybody has a recommended daily allowance of calories, referring to however many calories they need in order to maintain their current bodyweight. Women need around 2000 calories a day, whilst men need around 2500 as they’re generally bigger and more muscular.

If you consume less than your 2000 calories a day however, your body will then eat into any fat you have stored, to provide it with the extra energy that it requires, which is how we lose weight. Eating below your recommended daily calorie intake is known as a deficit, so if you consume 1700 calories a day, you’ll burn 2000 so you’ll have created a calorie deficit of 300.

Eventually, this deficit adds up, and you begin to lose body fat. The lower your calories, the more fat the body burns, and the more weight you lose. Simply put, in order to lose weight, you either need to consume less calories than you’re burning off, or burn off more calories than you consume.

6 Comments

  1. Mia

    Counting calories almost drove me insane; I couldn’t even taste something if I didn’t know how many calories were in it! Now I rely mostly on common sense – if I crave brownies, I eat 2-3 brownies not the whole batch and I try not to have anything sweet that day. As for sugar-filled drinks, I’m lucky as I never liked them, plus I hate the bloat I get after drinking them.

  2. Kristin

    I used to be pretty good at the calories I consume but was not keeping track of how many I was burning. At that time I exercised quite often though so I didn’t have any kind of weight problems. Now that I am a bit older I do keep track of the calories I have burned when I am on an exercise machine if it has a calorie counter but I have been having trouble keeping track of the calories that I consume. I really need to find a good way that works for me to bring the two together.

  3. Angela

    Calorie counting can be a real pain. I find it extremely troublesome to work out how many you burn compared to how much you intake each day and finding a balance. I think this can be something that actually puts people off trying to drop some weight – the difficulty of correctly measuring it.

  4. Sharon Mills

    My husband finds calorie counting very easy but it really gets on my nerves. I find keeping as close to natural as possible with my food and knowing what calories are in something helps me make the right choices but even when I know the right choices, some days I’ll pick the wrong ones on purpose. I tend to lose or gain in time slots of a matter of months and work desperately hard to find my mojo to get back in to the weight loss frame of mind again.

  5. Caitlin

    Very informative. A lot of the stuff in this article I’ve been wondering in the back of my mind for a long time actually, and now you’re cleared most of it up for me! Thanks!

  6. Kayla

    I find it hard to get into calorie counting but this information makes it more easier and I understand how it works a lot better now. I don’t know if I can survive calorie counting. I think if I mix it up with more vegetables and some of those diet meals that I could possibly make it work.

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