Food Calories List – Breaking the Calorie Code

[note color="#ECF5F8"]by Marius Bakken, M.D.
Two time Olympic runner and author of the NWLC system

A food calories list can be an invaluable tool in your efforts to lose weight.

Calorie counting is one of the most important diet weight loss techniques. It is also supported by health professionals since it does not compromise the body’s need for sufficient calories, but simply makes sure no excess calories are accumulated that may cause unwanted excess weight.

food calories listA low-calorie diet is known to be most effective in losing weight. It sounds simple enough: you have the target calorie level and the maximum calorie level you can consume in a day. You need to meet the target level but must not exceed the maximum level.

The type of foods you eat depends on how restrictive your diet plan is. Some diet plans allow you to throw in fast food, junk food, and any other type of food you want to eat as long as you meet the calorie requirements. Some diet plans, however, simply rule out certain non-beneficial food products.

To effectively lose weight by watching your calories, there are a few things you should know about calories.

Calories – Important Things to Know About the Weight Loss Problem

  • Calories – What Are They?
  • How to Calculate Calories in Food
  • Making Use of Calorie Lists

1. Calories – What Are They?

Before anything else, it helps to know what you’re up against in your efforts to have a healthy eating habit. A calorie is considered as a unit of energy. Calories come from the protein, carbohydrates, and fats in the food that we eat. The amount of calories in a food product is the amount of energy that particular food can provide to the body. Thus, the body will not be able to function properly without calories.

The body needs a specific amount of calories in a day. To stay healthy, you need to meet this amount. But if you go beyond, the excess calories will be converted automatically into body fat.

2. How to Calculate Calories in Food

Although there are free calories list online you can simply print out and bring with you anywhere, some people still ask about how to calculate the calorie content in food. Calories require scientific measurement to count.

First, you need to record the weight of the food product before burning, then after burning. The difference between these two amounts will give you the amount of energy expended. Next, you need to record the water temperature when the food product was first burned, then when the food product was already cooked, to get the increase in temperature. The amount of energy expended plus the increase in the two temperatures should be equal.

You can also calculate calories based on the calorie equivalents of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. One gram of carbohydrate is equal to 4 calories. One gram of protein is equal to 4 calories. One gram of fat is equal to 9 calories. This technique, however, means that you also have to count the carbohydrate, protein, and fat contents of food, which can be even more confusing.

3. Making Use of Calorie Lists

A calorie list can help you track the total amount of calories of the food you consume every day. It breaks down the calorie content of food products commonly consumed daily. Foods are usually broken down into different categories, such as breads and cereals, meat and fish, fruits and vegetables. Some special lists include the number of calories found in different types of wines and desserts.

It’s hard to count calories even with a very detailed and specific guide like a food calories list. This is because counting calories every time you are about to put something in your mouth is an undertaking that requires self discipline, a lot of control, and a lot of effort.

Counting Calories and Eating Out

When you’re trying to lose weight through a low calorie diet strategy, it’s hard to eat out at restaurants. And if you like eating out, this means you’re going to have to make a few sacrifices. It’s hard to count the calories of restaurant food; you can only come up with an estimate based on what ingredients you see or based on a calorie list that includes junk food or fast food calorie information, but there are plenty of other ingredients that restaurants use and they usually use a lot of preservatives as well.

This is why some nutrition buffs are now suggesting that restaurants put calorie counts in their menus. But for now, your food calories list would have to suffice.

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