Something I’ve been noticing a lot lately is that we’ve become quite distracted with so many diet fads and new health “discoveries” that it seems we’ve lost sight of one of the most basic keys to weight loss and health in general….the calorie. There are so many other things to worry about, such as whether or not we should have gluten, or fat, or carbs, should we have almond milk or soy milk, is cow’s milk bad? What about protein powder, or artificial sweeteners? Sometimes we think as long as it’s organic or gluten free then we’re good, we can eat as much of it as we want and still be healthy. Then when we don’t lose weight (or we may even gain some), we wonder where we went wrong. Well here is key to weight loss which I believe we’ve lost sight of, CALORIES IN VERSUS CALORIES OUT.
What is a calorie anyway? A small calorie (cal) is the amount of energy needed to raise one gram of water by one degree Celsius. A large calorie (kcal) is the amount of energy needed to raise one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius. We use these units of energy to measure how much food we need to take in based on how much energy our body uses each day. Calories are not a bad thing because we need them to sustain life. However, we need to be aware of how much we are taking in.
More often than not, we consume significantly more calories than we need. If we aren’t paying attention, this will happen. I’ve come across people who will say they are gaining weight but they need all the calories they are eating currently. This is simply not true. While it is very important what type of calories you are taking in, the bottom line is, if you are gaining weight you are not using as many calories as you are taking in, if you are losing weight you are using more calories than you are taking in.
This does not mean that everyone must obsessively count every single calorie they take in for the rest of their lives. However, I highly recommend that you pay attention to portion sizes and the calories that go along with it. Yes, absolutely eat healthier choices, I am a huge advocate of organic foods. Choose fresh foods that are not processed and they will naturally be lower in calories. Avoid eating out, eating foods out of a box or bag or can, and don’t drink your calories. These are all great ways to ensure you are not taking in too much energy and storing it as fat.
There are many other things I could say on this matter, but my last word of advice if you are struggling in this area, is to see a holistic nutritionist or naturopath and find out exactly what your body needs and how much energy it naturally uses (your resting metabolic rate). We are all different and only you can take charge of your health and choose to live more abundantly!!