Diet and Nutrition Plans and Tips
What is a calorie? Well, according to the dictionary, a calorie is a unit of heat energy. In more detail, it can be defined as a unit of energy-producing potential equal to the amount of heat needed to raise one gram of water by one degree. When making the distinction between a chemistry calorie and a food calorie, we must clarify the difference in quantity. What we normally call ‘one calorie’ in food is in fact one kilocalorie, equal to 1000 chemistry calories, or the energy required to raise one kilogram of water by one degree.
Now that we have addressed the mathematical and chemical definition of a calorie, let’s look at what the calorie means to you and me as food consumers. Calories are the way that we measure the energy potential of food. They are also the way that we determine if we are overeating. If we consume more potential energy than we need right now, our body stores it for future use. This makes us gain weight. If we don’t consume enough for our daily use, we will become very thin and malnourished.
Best body weight
In order to maintain optimal health, and our best body weight, we must work out a calorie requirement that is specific to our unique needs. Once we are aware of what our calorie needs are, we can design our diet to fit those needs.
One of the most difficult situations to handle successfully in our lives is the need to lose weight. Once we have figured out our calorie requirements to maintain our current weight, if we also need to diet and lose body weight, we are faced with cutting our calorie intake. Having been slightly overweight most of my adult life, I can tell you this is a difficult task. Combining the requirement for fewer calories, and the increased need for exercise, is not easy for an individual to maintain.
Diet plans and reduced fat foods
There are products on the market today that make calorie counting easier than ever, and there are diet plans and reduced fat foods that make the practical planning easy too. What they have not invented is a way to boost will power and help us to follow through. You can get a product that is worn on some part of the body, and keeps track of what our calorie expenditure is during the day. What we need is to take this one step further, and have an instrument that can also calculate our calorie intake and leave us with our available consumption balance. Wouldn’t that be a great idea? If we overeat, there could be a warning noise from the calorie counter. If the sound were quite embarrassing, we wouldn’t have to worry about overeating in a restaurant at least!
The road to good health is not easy to find again once we have strayed from it. It should be one of the easiest things we have to do, since good health is so important to us. But what most of us find, is that we make very little time for our health, and even less time to understanding the calorie and its effect upon our body. Although we do take notice of the bulge around our waist, we always want a quick fix for the problem. Diet and exercise seem too difficult and take too long. But they are the only solutions that work.
So as you go about your day, remember what is a calorie, and think about what it means to your waistline and your health. Proper understanding, correct consumption levels and a maintenance plan make for a healthy, high quality life.