Written by: Kevin White
Calories are simply the measurement of energy in food. To eat a balanced diet it’s good to know how many calories are in the foods we are eating. Trying to lose weight requires you to eat less and to be more active. When you eat and drink you’re putting energy (calories) into your body, your body then soaks up that energy – the more physical activity you do, the more energy (calories) you use.
Why do we put on weight?
Maintaining a stable weight requires you to match your normal bodily functions (physical activity), with the same amount of energy put into your body (calories). Weight gain happens when you put too much energy into your body that isn’t matched with exercise, this excess energy to latest stored in the body’s fat.
Calories are there to help you keep track of the amount of food you are eating and drinking and is a vital tool in achieving or maintaining a healthy weight. You will find calories displayed on many food packages, the calorie content is often referred to as ‘kcals’ (short for kilocalories) and kJ (short for kilojoules). The label on the packet will show you how many calories they are per 100g or per portion, beware that their stated portion may be totally different to your idea of a portion.
Exercise burns extra calories
If you exercise vigorously the more calories you will use, so jogging will use up more calories than fast walking. The amount of calories you use (or burn) varies from person to person. To lose weight you will have to use more energy than you consume, and this will have to be maintained over a period of time. Healthy changes to your diet can help you achieve your goal and portion control and drinking more water will help. Combine your eating changes with increased exercise to help you sustain this.