To understand how calorie calculators work, first let us understand what exactly are ‘calories’. An oft-used term for food, nutrition, and weight, a calorie is the unit of energy that gets released from the food we consume. Our body requires a certain number of calories to carry out its regular functions properly.
What are calories?
To understand how calorie calculators work, first let us understand what exactly are ‘calories’. An oft-used term for food, nutrition, and weight, a calorie is the unit of energy that gets released from the food we consume. Our body requires a certain number of calories to carry out its regular functions properly. Lack of proper nutrition in terms of quantity and quality leads to low-calorie count which in turn causes us to feel fatigued and lose lean muscle mass.
Relation between fats and calories
The human body derives calories from protein, fats, and carbohydrates. However, while protein and carbohydrates give 4 calories per gram, fats give 9 calories per gram. Plus, when you consume more calories than the body requires, the excess gets stored as body fat, thus leading to an unhealthy increase in weight.
While a certain amount of essential fats is necessary to protect your internal organs, excessive fat can lead to several health complications. This is especially true if the fats are derived from dishes like potato chips or junk food, which provide a high number of calories and very negligible minerals or vitamins. Some purportedly low-fat foods or fat-free foods can also contain a high-calorie load due to excessive sugar content.
Carbohydrate-rich and protein-rich foods also contain a certain quantum of calories. A common doubt that arises is, how do you calculate the nutritional information of a recipe.
Well, you can either take the advice of trained professionals, or use tools like recipe calorie calculators (also known as, meal calorie calculators) to check the calorie content of whatever you consume and tailor your diet to have a healthy calorific intake, suited to your age, and physical activity levels among other things.
How many calories does a person need?
The requisite number of calories per person per day differs according to many factors such as one’s age, gender, height, level of physical activity, and lifestyle patterns.
For instance, The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans stipulate that women need around 1600-2400 calories per day, whereas men need 2000-3000 calories per day. This ratio also varies as per a person’s BMR, which slows down as per age.
Hence, if a woman requires 2000 calories per day in her 20s, her requirement will fall to 1600 calories in her 50s. Pregnancy, lactation, muscle fat ratio are some other factors where the calorie count may need to change as per the body’s needs.
However, on a generic basis considering a cross-section of the demographic, moderately active adult women ideally need around 2000 calories per day, and moderately active adult men need around 3000 calories per day.
How to calculate calories in food?
If you’d like to count the number of calories you consume, you can keep track of the nutrition information of the packed food products you purchase. You can use food recipe calorie calculators available online such as Good Health By Yourself to break down the types of food and the quantity of those foods you have consumed.
Journaling these details for a week or a month will give you a fair picture of your average calorie consumption. The online calorie calculators consider the number of calories per serving of each ingredient used in a recipe, along with the number of servings and portion sizes to estimate the calories consumed.
Make a healthy choice
If you’re consuming excessive calories leading you to unhealthy weight gain due to fat accumulation, start tailoring your diet preferably with an expert’s advice. Replace unhealthy foods in your diet with healthier alternatives that’ll give you more vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Eat through the day in small portions instead of bingeing at one go. Keep your metabolism proper to help the body utilize the released energy to the optimum.