Does Calorie Counting Work? This is one of the common questions that arise when we try calorie deficient diet. But, What does calorie counting mean, and how do you do it? In simple terms, calorie counting means having a note of what you eat and how much you eat in a day. Now, this is done to make sure that you don’t overeat more than the required calories for the day. Your calorie requirement is basically calculated taking into account your body parameters and physical activity.
The amount of energy produced by a particular food is called a calorie. And foods that are loaded with fats provide more calories when compared to carbs or proteins. This is because 1g of fat provides 9 kcal of energy whereas in the case of carbs and proteins it is 4kcal/g. Basically, fats provide double the energy. This is exactly the reason why we cut down on fats when we are on a calorie-deficient diet.
The major principle that you follow in calorie counting is energy balance. Energy balance means maintaining a balance between energy consumed through foods and energy used for physical activity. In a calorie deficient diet what we do is we cut down a few calories (500-1000 calories) so that body uses up stored energy and you see weight loss. Despite deducting the calories we need to make sure that your body does not go into extreme negetive energy balance where the body enters a starvation state.
Like two faces of the coin, calorie counting has both pros and cons. Henceforth you have to follow it with utmost precaution and under the guidance of a nutritionist so that you don’t encounter any complications.
Pros of calorie counting:
- Calorie counting can help you keep a check on what you eat and how much you eat.
- You get to know which foods are high in calories so you can restrict their intake.
- By doing calorie counting you can make sure that you are eating enough as per your body requirement.
- It will help you control yourself from overeating and binge eating.
- At times when you eat extra, by calorie counting you can compensate by taking low cal meals.
- Calorie counting also helps you do portion control that in turn helps to maintain your weight.
- Due to calorie restriction, your eating habits will improve where you will switch to healthy low cal alternatives.
Cons of calorie counting:
- You get too concentrated on calories that you stop enjoying the foods.
- Sometimes there are chances of you being anorexic and scared to take big meals.
- Due to calorie restriction, you tend to go on fad diets which are harmful to your body.
- During calorie counting, you are too focused on meeting the calories that you neglect taking proper meals.
The calorie counting technique has more advantages than disadvantages. The disadvantage arises only when you do this without proper knowledge and guidance. Henceforth, always be patient with your body and never neglect the cues given by your body which is a wake-up call of future complications. Always remember eating a healthy and balanced diet is more important than just meeting the calorie requirement.
Lastly, Does Calorie Counting Work? Well, it definitely does when you do it with precaution and under proper guidance.
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