minutely-sized evil spirits that live in your wardrobe and make your clothes grow tighter every day.
In all seriousness: according to research, nutrition is far more important for weight loss than exercise, so knowing your way around calories is a must.
A calorie is a unit that describes the energy needed to increase the temperature of a gram of water by one Celsius grade, but you probably don’t need to know that. What you do need to realize is that the average male should consume about 2000 to 3000 calories a day to stay at a healthy weight. Consult an online calculator like this one to find out how much you should eat based on your height, weight, and other factors.
Easy question – they’re in food, right? Calories are mainly found in the three big groups of macronutrients. A gram of protein or carbohydrate has 4 calories while a gram of fat has as many as 9 – now you know why its bad rep. Sorry to be the one to tell you this, but I also need to warn you that a gram of alcohol has a whopping 7 calories. Might be the reason they always say that you should cut down on booze if you want to lose weight!
Your job is simple when you’re counting calories for weight loss: you need to make sure that you put in fewer calories than you burn, thus forcing your body to use up the fat reserves. Heads up: your muscles are an easy source of energy, so they’re in danger of being burnt instead of the dreaded love handles. You should exercise to let your body know that hey, you still need your biceps and they mustn’t be used up.
It’s easy to think that since you’re counting calories for weight loss, it doesn’t matter where they come from – as long as you burn the excess off, everything’s fine and dandy. In a way, it’s true. Yes, you can lose weight if your diet is all pork ribs and chocolate! Unfortunately, this will set you on the way to becoming skinny fat, and that’s probably not the kind of body you’re aiming for. You are what you eat indeed – and whether you fill yourself up with ready-to-eat meals or beneficial whole foods will be well visible in your physique.
We’re no longer in the era of paper notebooks and pencils – there’s a ton of apps designed specifically to help you with counting calories. Personally, I can recommend MyFitnessPal – the website comes together with an app and lets you log not only all that you eat but also your caloric expenditure. You also get access to an enormous supportive community. The US government also has a supertracker tool designed to help you adjust your diet to the official recommendations.
When you get serious at counting calories, you’ll need to weigh everything you eat, log it somewhere and make sure you don’t exceed your daily or weekly limit. To find out how it feels, start out by merely logging everything you eat for a few days. Don’t worry about the limits just yet. While learning your new routine, you will also get the stats on your current diet – it is a great starting point for making corrections that will later get you to lose weight.