Counting calories in the diet is not the solution

Currently, it is common practice in many groups to base their diet primarily on calculating the calories in food, regulating the calories they consume taking into account the calories they burn. So the process of trying to lose weight, maintain your current condition, or gain weight is built on this principle.

This view suggests that if you want to lose weight, the calories you burn daily should be more than the calories you eat., Thus achieving improved total weight loss.

However, taking care of your diet is essential for your health, which is why we want to justify you. why counting calories is not enough for this.

    What are calories and what is their function?

    Calories are a unit of energy, and in their application to the human body quantifies the energy that our body will receive through food. The function of the calories in the daily intake is to cover the energy necessary for the vital functions of the organism as well as the complementary actions developed.

    The calories we burn naturally come from the functions of breathing to pump the heart. The rest of the actions that we do on a daily basis also consume calories, such as reading, walking or cooking.

    Our body is like a machine and our essence is made up of calories and nutrients derived from food. The more physical activity, the more food we will need to meet these demands..

    Why isn’t counting calories enough?

    Although the body needs energy, that’s not all. Adequate calorie intake is a necessary but not sufficient condition: Food provides calories, but also nutrients, and the body needs them.

    All foods contain calories. In an extreme case, by considering only the calories, you could lose weight thanks to the sweets and the pizzas, while maintaining a lower intake than that consumed per day. What if, it’s possible, but it’s not healthy.

    This way you are more likely to get sick in the short term, and even something contradictory – you won’t have enough energy or you will feel good during the day. Also, the weight you lose will not be fat effectively, but you will probably also lose some muscle. Maintaining muscle mass is necessary for good aesthetics and good health.

    Are all calories the same?

    This is the important point, and for which we do not recommend basing a diet on calories. Calories do not react in the same way in our body depending on where they come from: Today, most ultra-processed foods contain a multitude of empty calories; that is, they do not provide any nutrients. In addition, they deregulate our hormonal environment and later end up as body fat, as it is easy to achieve calorie surplus from most of the products consumed by today’s society.

    Nutritional compliance is more important than calories

    To obtain a feeling of well-being and fullness, apart from good health and aesthetics, the most important thing is to quantify the total number of nutrients according to your goal and the factors of each person (Diseases, allergies, pathologies, etc.).

    We can classify nutrients into two macro groups; let’s see how they are.

    Macronutrients

    macronutrients these are the most important nutrients in our body because they need them in large quantities to function. These can be classified into three broad groups, each performing a specific function:

    • Proteins: they develop the transport function and the structural function of our body.
    • Carbohydrates: provide energy to our body.
    • Fats: These are necessary because certain types of vitamins can be absorbed and also in the process of making hormones in humans.

    micronutrients

    Micronutrients are also needed in our body to respond to different chemical reactions. Unlike macronutrients, we need them in small doses, And we can categorize them mainly into vitamins and minerals.

    Carbohydrates in our diet

    Carbohydrates are one of the main sources of energy for our body; so, the amount of these to ingest will largely depend on the physical activity you engage in. In addition, it is also important to pay attention to the types of carbohydrates you eat.

    Classification of carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates can be classified into simple and complex.

    Simple carbohydrates

    They have a simpler structure, and therefore our body can assimilate easily. They are interesting in terms of physical activity, for their rapid assimilation; however, they should not be abused, as they deregulate our hormonal environment. An example of a simple carbohydrate is sugar.

    Complex carbohydrates

    They are accompanied by other nutrients, such as fiber. This causes them to be absorbed more slowly, thus avoiding harming our hormonal environment, as long as we don’t overdo it. Some examples of these are pasta, rice or potatoes.

    remember, if you eat more carbohydrates than your body needs, they will be stored as fat. Adapt them to your particular case, but remember that burnt food is better than uneaten food.

      Fat in our diet

      Fat is another source of energy for our body, in addition to performing essential functions, such as good cardiovascular health, derived from healthy fatty acids.

      These are the nutrients that have the highest caloric density, Provide 9 calories per gram, in exchange for carbohydrates and protein, which provide 4 calories per gram. We can find different types of fats in food, which can be categorized mainly into these categories which we will see below.

      1. Saturated fat

      They are needed in their correct quantity as long as they have an appropriate source for certain functions., Such as the creation of hormones. An example of a good provenance in which we can find them is, for example, meat.

      2. Trans fats

      This type of fat is used to change the texture and taste of food. Our body does not need them and they are harmful. They are found, for example, in ultra-processed foods.

      3. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats

      These so-called “healthy” fats, they are essential for good cardiovascular health. They are derived from nuts, olive oil, or blue fish, among other sources.

      Proteins in our diet

      The main function of proteins in our body is structural and transport. Proteins can be classified into complete and incomplete, depending on whether they have all amino acids or not in particular. Amino acids are smaller particles in protein, so a protein is made up of a collection of amino acids.

      complete proteins

      They contain all amino acids. Some examples are meat or fish.

      incomplete proteins

      They lack amino acids. For example: legumes.

      Calories are important when nutrients are satisfied

      Once you’ve supplemented the necessary nutrients, it’s important to factor in calories, primarily depending on what goal you have. But remember As long as the diet is varied and complete!

      Based on the goal, we can summarize the following keys.

      To improve fat loss

      A calorie deficit is necessary; that is, we spend more than we eat. Deficiency can be achieved through exercise or by regulating certain nutrients in the total diet.

      To gain fat or build muscle mass

      A calorie surplus is necessary; that is, eat more than what is spent.

      Health and fitness lie in the balance of habits

      Seek balance in your life, it will contribute to your health and fitness.

      We recommend that you focus on caring for the nutrients you consume, Since this is essential to maintain a varied diet, and take into account your conditions and goals.

      In addition, it is important to also take care of the healthy habits that will contribute to all of this, such as physical exercise, rest and emotional balance.

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