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The Importance Of Calories

Dieting can be hard. There are hundreds of different diets out there, all being thrust upon unsuspecting people that want to lose weight, to lose fat, or to gain weight, and to put on muscle. So many different trainers, weight loss experts, and people trying to sell the ‘next big thing’ will recommend different ways to eat, different mealtimes, ‘magic’ fat loss foods and all kinds of obscure ways to get the body you want.
The reality is, behind all the noise, the answer we’re looking for is often actually very straight forward.

A calorie is a unit of energy, it is used to measure the amount of energy contained within a food, and often how much fat we burn whilst exercising. Technically speaking, one calorie is equal to the amount of energy that is required to raise the temperature of a gram of water, by a single degree Celsius. When exercising, the human body burns calories, if we burn more calories than we consume, we lose fat, if we consume more calories than we burn, we gain weight.

Every person has what is called a ‘Basal Metabolic Rate’ or ‘BMR’ for short, this is a term used to describe the number of calories a body burns daily, basically, just surviving without additional activity. Everybody has different metabolic rates, so it can take a little trial and error to work out how many calories exactly you burn as a base for each day, but there are calculators and such things online that can assist with finding a rough number for this to use as an example. If you take your base metabolic rate, and then add the calories burnt from exercise and any additional tasks that burn calories throughout the day, you are left with the number of calories you can consume without putting on additional fat.
An example of using BMR and calories consumed to understand what you can eat daily is; if you burn a base of 2500 calories a day, and you also exercise burning 300 calories that day, you can then consume 2800 calories without gaining fat. If the total calories the body uses in total is say, 2800 in a day, and a person consumes 2500, that person can Not gain fat. Simply put, if you are burning as much, or more than you use from a calorie perspective, there is quite literally nothing there for the body to ‘put on’ as fat.

If we are strictly talking about fat gain and fat loss, you can eat just about whatever you want if it fits into the number of calories you burn in a day overall. If someone says you must survive on lean meat and veg to get leaner, will it work? Probably, but it’s certainly not your only option. Plenty of people would prefer to eat less food through the day and enjoy a larger meal in the evening, and if what you are eating doesn’t put you over the number of calories you can burn in a day in total, you cannot gain body fat. No one is recommending a person eats fast food every day, but if you find yourself with 700 calories left for the day, and you fancy that 650-calorie burger? You have nothing to worry about, it will not ruin your results; however remember to take into consideration the nutritional value of a food and how a specific food has been prepared and can affect your body in other ways.

When talking about calories from a gym and fitness perspective, it is important to remember to eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and all-round healthy foods and supplements, as a balanced diet will benefit just about everybody. Although plenty of people want to lose fat, we also need to fuel our bodies for performance, and to generally feel good. For those who are interested in muscle growth, strength, and general health and fitness, it is important to consume plenty of protein as part of their diet, and of course, calories from protein are still calories, so always be sure to take that into account when working out total calorie amounts. Try using high-quality protein supplements in your routine such as Slim Whey protein that not only will supply you with highest-quality protein but also help you lose weight with amazing fat burning ingredients!

If you are struggling to lose body fat, wondering how to do so, or you are simply a little overwhelmed with what the best diet is out there, always remember that all fat loss comes from calories used vs calories consumed. Too many calories for your body, means fat mass will accumulate, too little, means you may even lose weight faster than you would like.

Don’t over complicate fitness if you can help it. Consume enough protein, keep active, lift weights, and take helpful supplements for that extra boost. If you need a simple way to monitor what you eat and watch your weight, then maybe try paying more attention to calories consumed for a simple way to stay accountable, without having the pressure to decide on which of the latest diet trends you need.

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