What is Calorie?
Similar to a teaspoon or an inch, a calorie is a unit of measurement. Calories are the units of energy used by your body during food metabolism.
The more calories a food has, the more energy it can provide to your body. Any extra calories can be stored as body fat.
Your body accumulates excess calories as body fat when you consume more calories than you need.
Why Does Calorie Get Much Attention?
Calories are essential to the human body. Cells in the body need the energy to survive. Vital organs need the energy to carry out basic processes needed for living.
Consuming only your needed calorie intake is a general rule of thumb for living a healthy life including weight loss. Skipping meals and reduction of plate size can be quite difficult to achieve the desired result in the long run. The most important and effective way is to cut down the number of calories you consume daily.
The calorie content in food tells how much energy it can supply to the body when consumed. Calorie consumption that is too high or too low will lead to health problems. The substances from which the calories are derived are just as significant as the calories.
The six nutrients the body needs to stay healthy are;
Carbohydrates, protein, and fat are the three nutrients that contribute to calories.
Protein and carbohydrates both contain 4 calories per gram while there are 9 calories in 1 gram of fat.
Tips For Reducing Calorie Intake
With these few healthy tips, you can cut down the number of calories in your meal without the need for counting calories.
- Drink More of Water
Water contains no calories, aside from keeping you hydrated, drinking water could help reduce your overall liquid calorie intake. Substitute water for high calories drinks while eating, it keeps you full for a longer time and also minimizes the amount of sugar you consume, and prevents weight gain. The best method of drinking water aids weight loss is by taking a glass of water first thing in the morning on empty stomach and 30 minutes before your meal.
- Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain few calories and are highly rich in fibre, protein, vitamins, and minerals which can boost your fullness. Fruits and vegetables have also been an essential part of a healthy diet that may aid in weight loss. The key is a substitution, simply substitute some of your high-calorie food with fruits and vegetables, with this practice you consume fewer calories and more nutrient-rich food.
It is better to eat whole fruits, with that you get the fibre that keeps you full and eats your vegetables the way nature provided or with fat-free or low-fat cooking techniques by using low-fat oils and natural spices.
- Fill Up on Proteins
Eating a more protein-rich diet can help you stay full for a longer time, prevent you from overeating and increase the amount of calories output.
Protein-rich foods like legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) are also good sources of fibre and iron. Fish/seafood, egg white, and skinless white meat poultry are also good sources of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
A high protein intake can help with weight loss, increase muscle mass and improve health.
- Add Whole Grain Food to Diet
Whole-grain foods are packed with nutrients including protein, fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, with some carbs and few calories. Examples of whole-grain that are nutritious and healthy are oat, barley, brown rice, wheat, and quinoa, these are rich in fibre which makes them gut-friendly foods, perfect for digestive health, reduces the risk of heart diseases, and aid weight loss. The good thing about whole grain is that it can be prepared and enjoyed as a snack, which makes it a better choice over refined or highly processed snacks.
- Watch Your Fat Intake
Fats are an essential part of a diet to help maintain good health, this can be achieved by choosing monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats. Eating too much-saturated fat in the diet can raise “bad” LDL cholesterol in the blood which may lead to health complications like heart diseases, stroke, and overweight/obesity.
Olive oil, avocado, fatty fish, nuts and seeds are examples of food that are rich in healthy fats.
- Don’t Skip Your Breakfast
Some people believe skipping breakfast can help reduce the number of calorie intake and aid weight loss. Skipping breakfast won’t have a significant effect on your weight loss journey or the number of calories you consume, it rather increases your appetite to eat more which may lead to consuming more food which can make you consume more calories if care is not taken.
What matters most is how healthy your breakfast is, keep portion control handy, and just a few numbers of calories in your meal. This will help you curb your craving, promote portion control throughout the day, provide the body with important nutrients and improve performance.
- Minimize Highly Processed Food
Highly processed food is usually loaded with unhealthy fats, salt, and sweeteners. Too many of these ingredients may lead to serious health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity.
Substitute processed snacks with healthier alternatives made with natural ingredients, healthy oil and fat, natural sweetener, a little salt, and natural spices.
- Swap Shakes with Natural Drinks
By swapping shakes with a natural healthy drink, you tend to slash down the amount of sugar and calories you consume and also benefit from the rich nutrients, natural taste, and flavour of the natural drinks.
You can swap store-bought shakes with a nutritious smoothie made with whole food like fruits, vegetables, yoghurt, seeds, and nuts. This is high in protein and fibre, can keep you full, and aid weight loss.
- Skip Second Servings
Additional servings can result in extra calories.
When food is served family style at the table, it’s simple to keep stuffing your plate.Instead, only fill half of your plate and store the rest in the kitchen.
Or, if you’re still not full, add another serving of salad, fruit, or veggies.
- Change Your Cooking Technique
Making your own food is a great method to regulate your calorie intake and maintain the quality of your meals.
However, if you’re looking to reduce your calorie intake, some cooking techniques are preferable to others.
The healthier alternatives to deep frying include grilling, air frying, steaming, stewing, boiling, or poaching.
Calories are the units of energy used by your body during food digestion and absorption. They are essential to human body
Your body can digest food molecules and store the energy for usage in a variety of processes, such as movement, thought, and growth.
Calories are important in weight control since eating more calories than your body requires might result in weight gain.
Hence, the need to watch your daily calorie intake arise, to ensure you are not taking more than you need. Going for small plate size serving of food, eat more fruit and vegetables, minimize highly processed food, cut-down on soda and alcohol, avoid deep frying and switch to healthier alternatives are among the methods that can help you watch daily calorie intake.
However, you can burn-off your calorie without thinking about it by engaging in little activities like walking the stairs, walk around while on phone, and engaging in some other physical activities.