Do Beginner Dieters Know How To Count Calories?

By Rob Harris

When you first decide that you want to lose weight and you hear all the talk of burning more calories than consume, it might seem like a simple concept. But what when you think about it, do you actually know what a calorie is and then how many you should be consuming and how you know how many you are burning off?
After reading this article, you will know more about counting calories and you will be able to start losing weight whilst knowing what you are doing.

So, what actually is a calorie? A calorie is how much energy it takes to raise one gram of water one degree Celsius. When recorded on food packaging, calories are written in “kcal”, that is thousand of calories. So, when you look at the packaging and something has a calorie count of 10 kcal, it means that it’s enough to raise 1,000 grams, 1 kg, of water, by 1 degree Celsius. The number of calories written on the packaging of a food product, then, is a record of the amount of energy that that particular food product will give you.

The amount of calories you consume on a daily basis will depend on the type of person that you are. A busy body will consume more calories than someone who doesn’t do a lot; a body builder will burn more calories than someone who doesn’t do any exercise at all and a big person will use up more calories than a slimmer person.

Your basal metabolic rate or BMR is the amount of calories that your body needs to do the basics of what your body has to do throughout the day. This can be worked out by using your age in years, height in centimetres and your weight in kilograms. This information goes into the Mifflin-St Jeor equation (easily found online) to work out how many calories your body uses on a daily basis. It is important to understand that this amount of calories is what your body consumes without doing any exercise; it’s just to do the basic bodily functions on a daily basis.

Once you’ve determined what your BMR is, you can work out how many calories you are consuming by seeing on the packaging of what food you are eating. You can then get a heart rate monitor with a calorie counter to make sure you are burning off more calories than you are consuming.

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