Do you sometimes find yourself confused about calorie counting and what it all means? You’re not alone, hun.
These days it feels like there’s so much confusing malarkey to think about when it comes to the world of dieting or weight loss doesn't it? Every week there seems to be fresh info and jargon, new fad diets, updated right ways and wrong ways – and what the heck is a ‘macro’?! Here at Skinny HQ, we find that the best way to go about your own personal weightloss journey is to find an approach that suits you. Because after all, it’s all about your body and your goals! We know all too well that this dieting lark ain’t easy sometimes. So the last thing you need is to be piling extra pressure on yourself by trying to stick to a super confusing regime.
With that in mind, it's no wonder then that for years calorie counting has been used as supposedly the easiest way to stay on track with our eating habits. Loads of people consider it their go-to approach when it comes to understanding which foods are naughty and nice, many and absolutely swear by it.
But is calorie counting a good or bad habit? And what even is a calorie? Also, how does all of this counting help our bodies? How many calories are too many!?So. Many. Questions! So let’s see if we help answer a few then, eh…
So what exactly is a calorie?
Okay, this seems like a good place to start. In general, calories are defined as being the amount of energy your body gets from whatever you eat and drink. But if you want to get all “science-y” – apparently it’s technically the amount of heat energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by 1°C… (huh?!)
This “energy” that we’re talking about is the stuff we use up for even the most basic daily tasks like moving, breathing, maintaining our heartbeat, and even just thinking! Hmmm, we wonder how much energy it takes to munch on a Skinny bar!
How does calorie counting help with weight loss?
Again, there’s a lot of science-y mumbo jumbo to unpick with this burning question. So we’ll keep it basic! These days, most of the foods you’ll see in the shops have a nifty nutrition label, telling you exactly how many calories your fave snack contains. You’ll see this marked as ‘Kcal’ on most packets. This number will help you to keep track each day of just how much energy you’re taking in from your food and drink, so keep your eyes peeled for those magic labels.
Health experts recommend that women should be munching on around 2,000 cals per day, and men on about 2,500. The idea is that if you roughly stick to this daily number, you’ll be able to keep at a healthy weight and won’t find yourself eating more than is healthy for your body. This amount of food will also keep you nourished and sustained throughout the day, no matter what it throws at you.
When you want to lose weight by calorie counting, it’s recommended that you try to put yourself in what’s known as a “calorie deficit”. This means that you should be trying to burn off more calories through moving about than you’re actually eating. What this doesn’t mean is limiting your calorie intake to below 2,000 a day! That’s seriously naughty behavior guys, so we don’t wanna see it! Anything less than 2,000 and it’s likely you won’t be eating enough grub. It’s also likely that you’ll soon find yourself feeling groggy, weak, cranky, and VERY hangry! (Our least favorite mood here at Skinny…)
So with this knowledge, remember that it’s just as important to count calories to make sure you’re getting enough of them, as it is to count them for weight loss. Capiche?
Is counting calories a bad habit?
Ah, the million dollar question – and it all depends on who you ask. Over the years many health experts and reports have both slammed calorie counting and praised it. Confusing stuff, we know! On one hand, there’s no brushing off the fact that calorie counting can really help a lot of people to stay on track with their eating habits and shift the weight they’ve always wanted to, just by sticking to some simple foodie maths.
On the other hand, the temptation to set too many limits on yourself when it comes to calorie counting and fall into the trap of not eating enough can also be really harmful. For this reason it’s extra important to make extra sure you’re getting enough energy from your daily calorie count, if you’re going to start totting up your numbers. We find that the MyFitnessPal app helps us to count as we go. It’s super easy to use and will tell you off if you’re falling below the recommended amount of cals!
Overall, it’s obvs up to you and you only to decide if calorie counting is the way to go for your weightloss journey. If you swear by calorie counting and it helps you to stay on track - great! If you think it’s all a big load of rubbish, that’s fine too! Because remember, it’s all about finding your own path through your journey – and the most important part of that is figuring out what works for you.
If calorie counting is for you though, then it sure will impress you to hear that our gorgeously tasty Skinny bars all have less than 99 of them! They have to be tasted to be believed, so head to our online store today to get your mitts on some. And hey, even if you don’t care for the calorie maths – we think they’re still bound to be your new fave treat!
If we haven’t gone into enough deets for you, then you can find out more info about calorie counting on the NHS website too.