Calories are the amount of energy that a food contains. Carbohydrates, fat, and protein all contain calories in them. One calorie is equivalent to the amount of energy needed to increase the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius.
You may have heard of a "small calorie" and a "kilocalorie." A small calorie is the amount of energy that increases the temperature of a gram of water by one degree Celsius.
1,000 small calories go into one kilocalorie. A kilocalorie is the type of calorie you see on a nutrition label. It is also called a "food calorie" to make this delineation clearer.
1 (4 oz)
1 (6 oz)
1 (4 oz)
How to Count Your Calories
You can start counting calories through several measures. Every nutrition label contains the number of calories in one serving of the food. You can write down how many calories you ate and then count all of your numbers together.
You can use apps and online resources to estimate how many calories are in food. These are good tools to use when you are eating out and calorie counts are not listed on the menu.
Serving sizes can be hard to discern at restaurants or family dinners. A helpful tip is noting that typically, one serving of meat is akin to the palm of your hand.
Baseline Amounts for Nutrients
Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats contain a set amount of calories per gram. A gram of carbohydrates and a gram of protein each contain four calories. One gram of fat contains nine calories, regardless of how saturated it is.
If you are looking to cut calories, you should look to cut down on your fat consumption. Yet you should remember that fats provide a good amount of energy for your body. Processed carbohydrates may contain fewer calories, but they offer less for your overall health.
You can use a calorie calculator to determine how many calories you need to eat. Several factors go into how many calories you need for basic bodily functions.
Your height, weight, and exercise levels are the three critical ones. The more you exercise, the more calories you need in order to maintain your weight.
Once you figure how many calories you need to eat, you can compare the metric to your current eating habits. Keep in mind that a calculator produces a baseline. You can only know for sure how many calories you need through an appointment with your doctor.
You may have heard of the body mass index (BMI), which measures your body fat based on your height and weight. This is another figure that you can calculate through online resources. But it is independent of your calorie count, and you should keep the two apart.
Calories on Menus
A menu will show the number of calories of the listed food and drink items. This information is located next to the name or price of the product on the menu. These standard food or drink items are:
Given in standard or regular sizes
Served in regulated locations that process and/or procure them
Examples include: dine-in restaurants and grocery stores
Served to be consumed by the customer, with no additional preparation
Examples include: coffee, bakery goods and fast-food chains
Where You Will See Calories Posted
Locations where calories are posted include the following:
Fast-food restaurant chains
Coffee shops and cafes
How Many Calories per Day Should I (You) Eat?
How many calories you need to maintain your weight varies from person to person. But there are some baselines you can look to as you plan out a healthy living routine.
CALORIES PER DAY
25 (w/ ave. proportions)
40 (w/ ave. proportions)
55 (w/ ave. proportions)
25 (w/ ave. proportions)
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55 (w/ ave. proportions)
Must fed enough food
The average Canadian woman is five feet and four inches tall and weighs 159.6 pounds. Many Canadians get less than an hour of exercise a week, and the median age of the population is around 40 years old.
A 25-year-old Canadian woman with average proportions and a sedentary lifestyle should eat 1,763 calories a day to maintain her weight. If the same woman performs light exercise one to three times a week, they can eat 2,020 calories a day.
A 40-year-old sedentary Canadian woman with average proportions can eat 1,673 calories a day. A person's metabolism slows down as they get older, so they have to eat less to maintain their weight. A 55-year-old average and sedentary Canadian woman must eat 1,583 calories a day.
The average Canadian man is five feet and ten inches tall and weighs 192.5 pounds. In general, a man's metabolism tends to be slightly faster than a woman's. This means that they can eat more calories during a single day.
A 25-year-old Canadian man who has average proportions but does not exercise should eat 2,239 calories a day. Someone who performs light exercise should eat 2,565 calories a day to maintain their weight. A sedentary and average 40-year-old Canadian man should eat 2,149 calories a day while a 55-year-old man should eat 2,059 calories.
Weight maintenance for children is complicated. As a child goes through puberty, they need more calories to maintain their metabolic functions. Yet a child can become obese if they do not exercise enough.
A baby or infant should be fed enough food so they are full. They should not be given extremely caloric food with processed ingredients. Their meals should contain many vegetables and healthy sources of protein like low-fat poultry.
A child between the ages of 4 and 12 should eat around 1,500 calories a day. It is okay if they go a little below or over this figure.
A teenager may need up to 2,000 calories a day. But if they are an athlete, they should eat more. They should eat until they are full and prioritize fruits and vegetables.
How Many Calories Should I (You) Eat to Lose Weight?
As with maintaining weight, the calorie figures for losing weight vary significantly. You must talk to your doctor before you start on any weight loss strategy.
Mild weight loss occurs when a person loses .5 pounds a week. A 25-year-old woman with average proportions can trim 250 calories out of their daily meals to achieve this. This means that they should eat 1,513 calories a day.
If they want to lose one pound a week, they can trim 500 calories out of their day. This brings them to 1,263 calories a day.
For women who are seeking to lose excessive amounts of weight, it is said that eating 800 calories or less per day will help to achieve results of losing an average of 2lbs per week. However it is imperative to know that eating less than 1200 calories per day can alter the body’s various biological functions.
Older women can adopt similar metrics. Whether a woman is 40 or 55, cutting 250 calories per day will help them lose .5 pounds every week.
Pregnant women should try to avoid losing weight. A pregnant woman's metabolism increases and they need to provide nutrients for their fetus. This means that they should look to eat more, even if it means gaining weight.
Men can lose weight in similar proportions to women. The average 25-year-old Canadian man can lose 0.5 pounds a week by cutting 250 calories a day. This will bring them to 1,989 calories a day.
Doctors recommend that men eat at least 1,500 calories a day. Yet extreme weight loss measures require eating less than 1,300 calories in order to work. Men should instead look for mild or moderate weight loss routines.
Obesity can result in numerous medical conditions, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. These conditions are associated with older people, but children can have them as well.
Health officials have focused on calorie counting as a way to combat childhood obesity. This is one tool that can help a child maintain overall health. But excessive calorie consumption is not the only reason why childhood obesity has occurred.
Socioeconomic class and obesity are linked to each other. Children at lower income levels are more likely to be obese than children at higher levels. They may not have access to high-quality grocery stores or recreational programs.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight doesn't just mean eating the right amount of calories. Matching your recommended calorie count will help.
But you must maintain a balanced diet. You should incorporate vegetables into all of your meals, including snacks and breakfasts. Fruits can act as a dessert or breakfast, and you should eat protein.
It is okay to indulge, but try not to indulge too many times. Make smart decisions that increase the nutrients of the foods you are consuming. Get a pizza with vegetables on top or order a turkey burger instead of a beef burger.
Buttered toast Egg Banana Almonds
150 80 90 170
Grilled chicken Grilled vegetables Pasta
225 125 185
Hummus Baby carrots Crackers
50 35 65
Grilled salmon Brown rice Green beans Walnuts
225 175 100 165
A Canadian's dietary habits tend to be caloric. Many Canadians like pizza, bacon, and cookies. You may want to transition to other cuisines in order to avoid weight gain.
If you do not exercise, work a little light exercise into your daily routine. Exercise builds muscles, improves the strength of your heart, and increases your flexibility. Go for a walk or do some stretches when you have some free time.
Do not worry if you gain or lose a little weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is not about sticking to one number in particular, but falling within a range. If your weight is 150 pounds, you can maintain a weight between 145 and 155 pounds.
Calories are a critical tool for weight loss. If you can burn more calories than you eat, you will lose weight.
Cutting 250 calories out of your day is easily attainable. Two servings of potato chips can contain more than 300 calories. Eating a salad instead can help you hit your weight loss goal.
You can eat whatever foods you want, but you can limit your portions. You can eat one slice of pizza instead of two. This can remove hundreds of calories depending on what toppings you choose.
Do not just eat vegetables. Protein and whole grains are filling and nutritious. You can eat appetizing high protein foods like nuts, legumes, and leafy greens rather than red meat.
Cutting calories is one approach that will help you lose weight. It may be enough for mild weight loss, but you need other measures if you want to lose more weight.
Exercise is important to implement into your lifestyle if you're serious about losing weight. But it doesn't have to be difficult and draining. If you like to dance then try a Zumba class! You'd be surprised at how much fun exercise can be.
Your mental health can impact your weight loss. Some people eat excessive amounts of food when they are stressed out. If you have a similar problem, consider speaking to a licensed professional that could help you adjust those habits.
Calorie counts are useful to people looking to gain weight. Adding 250 calories to your daily eating habits will help you gain 0.5 pounds a week.
Gaining weight does not mean eating an excessive amount of unhealthy food. You should try to increase your calorie count while avoiding saturated fats and artificial ingredients.
An easy way to do this is to drive up your fruit consumption. Eat a yogurt parfait with nuts and fresh berries on top. Have a fruit salad or cocktail with your lunch.
You can also add dressings to your salads. A basic balsamic vinaigrette contains olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Two tablespoons of olive oil contain more than 200 calories.