“Eat less to lose weight and eat more to gain”. This might be a very common piece of advice heard by many. While several people may think there is nothing wrong with the advice, there is absolutely nothing right about it too.
Wondering why? Well, that’s because the advice does not direct you what more to eat and how much more to eat. As a result, the lean population generally resorts to eating a lot of junk food which does tip up the weighing scale a bit but mostly leaves them looking bloated and out of shape. On the other hand, those on the heavier side, walk towards an even hazardous direction by eating very little or not eating at all.
So, what is the solution? What should one do to have a healthy and fit body? The answer lies in calorie tracking. Read on to know everything about tracking calories and eight interesting benefits that it brings along.
What is a calorie?
Calorie is a unit of energy. In nutrition, it refers to the energy people get from the food and drinks they consume, as well as the energy they use in any physical activity.
Who can track calories?
Anyone can track their own calories! A person who wants to lose weight, someone who is underweight and wants to gain, or a person who wants to maintain their weight can track their calories.
How to track calories?
Calorie tracking can be done in various ways
1. Calorie-tracking apps – There are several apps available at your disposal to easily track calories. These apps usually have a set of data about different food items with their caloric value. All you got to do is add the food item you had and the app will reflect the approximate calories you consumed.
2. Reading food labels – This is another better way to track calories. Most of the food packages come with a food label that informs you of their caloric value. Just master how to read these food labels and you will be able to efficiently track your caloric intake.
Benefits of tracking calories
Calorie counting = mindful eating
- Tracking calories is a tested method of weight loss. Calorie deficit helps one lose weight while calorie surplus helps in gaining. A calorie deficit is created when you burn more calories than what you have consumed.
- It helps in understanding the eating patterns and habits of an individual, making it easier to monitor diet behaviors. This includes knowing the food items that you usually crave for, and taking measures to counter such cravings.
- Tracking calories from each macro gives an estimate of the quality of food one consumes and helps in modifying the same. Carbs, protein, and fat are the three important macronutrients required by the body, and tracking the calories you consume from each of these macros helps determine whether your body is receiving all of them in the required quantity or not.
- Calorie tracking is a good estimate of keeping track of your fitness goals to achieve your intended physique. Be it losing fat or gaining muscle, you will never find yourself setting your eyes off your aim.
- It can help in achieving the desired goal of weight loss or gain without having to cut down on an entire food group or to eat according to some strange time schedule. Now that is a wonderful piece of information, right! With calorie tracking, you do not have to give up on your favorite food.
- It will prevent one from starving oneself or going on any extreme crash diet for weight loss. There are several fad diets out there that may cause more harm than do any good. But, with calorie tracking, you can stay away from such diets.
- One can adjust their diet according to how the day proceeds and also not face a food crisis while traveling with calorie tracking. Following any diet isn’t very easy in the long run. There are several situations where your diet may take a hit. But, that’s not the case with calorie tracking.
- Tracking calories will help you eat your food guilt-free. The next time you have a pizza, don’t walk down the lane of guilt. Simply note down the calories you consumed with the pizza and then make adjustments to eat within your required calorie intake.
Remember there is no such thing as good or bad calories, and this applies to food too. Instead, a better understanding of calories and tracking them will only help you in making easier and healthier food choices to reach your specific goals.
About the Author: Dr. Pooja N is a dentist and a public health professional. She has a keen interest in nutrition and fitness and with her flair for writing she firmly believes that words can work wonders and change worlds.
About the Editor : Ketki H is a wandering soul who loves travelling solo, and firmly believes in enjoying the journey rather than hurrying to the destination. Although a graduate in Mechanical Engineering, she took to writing for reaching the masses.