You've started a diet that implies counting calories for losing weight. However, you don't exactly know what it means and how many daily calories your body burns. Not anymore, because this article will present you with important and useful information regarding calorie count.
History of Calorie Counting
The idea of counting calories became popular in the 20th century. At that time, Wilbur Atwater (scientist) found out that if you put food in a machine they used to call “bomb calorimeter” and burned it, you could start measuring the ash and heat. This way, they found out how much energy was released, that is, how much energy the food had. This idea became popular, so people began counting calories. They calculated the amount of calories consumed when eating certain foods when practicing different activities. Moreover, a lot of diet books were released during this time, based on the idea that calories were the ones that counted the most.
How to Count Calories
Let's suppose you've set a weight target. You start a workout program and your nutritionist has also suggested trying on a diet based on a certain number of calories consumed daily. You should know that the number of calories depends in fact on your body size and on your activity level. Thus, a petite person will require less calories than a larger person.
The minimum energy amount required when resting, also called Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), can be calculated via the Mifflin – St Joer formula. For it, you need the weight in kilograms, the age in years and height in centimeters. Also, you should know that this BMR has to be multiplied by an activity factor in order to estimate the daily caloric requirements.
We consider that the best diet is the one you can keep for several months or even years. This way, eating healthy will become a day-to-day habit. Nutritionists claim that your daily calories shouldn't be reduced under 15% of the calories needed by your target weight and activity level. This way, as you start becoming fit, your weight loss rate will also decrease. Plus, once you're coming close to reaching your target weight, you can also increase the number of calories gradually, until you arrive at a maintenance level.
In the end, you should not forget about buying a scale for weighing and tracking nutritional values of several foods. You just have to select the food's name and your scale will calculate the calories, fiber, protein and cholesterol based on its weight. Also, you can keep track of what you've eaten because the scale can memorize multiple foods.