Your Guide to Healthy Lifestyle
Calories are unit of energy. For diet, it refers to energy obtained from food and energy used by the body to stay alive and perform physical activity. The calorie needs for each individual differs. It is affected by the difference of age, gender, body size, body composition, physical health, basal metabolic rate and physical activity level.
The energy sources come from the 3 main nutrients below
Protein : 1 g provides 4 kcal
Fat : 1 g provides 9 kcal
Besides that, alcohol provides calories too; 1 g of alcohol provides 7kcal.
Whether you gain, maintain or lose weight, it depends on the TOTAL calorie intake and output. If the energy consumed equals to energy expended, the weight is stable.
When the balance shift (either too much or too less), the weight will change. To lose 1 pound (454g) of body fat, you need to burn additional 3500kcal beyond those consumed. In contrast, a pound of body fat is stored for each 3500kcal eaten in excess. In other words, a deficit of 500kcal per day would produce a weight loss about 1 pound a week.
Myth: I had my large meal today, so, I will gain weight on the next morning.
Fact: In reality, there must be some days that we will enjoy a large or high calorie meal, but it will not change our weight immediately. The weight changes are determined by the energy balance over a long time.
If you realize that you have consumed in excess, you can still balance the energy by planning the next meal with a lower calories meal or increasing physical activity/exercise level.
Lai Huey Qin
B. Sc Dietetics, UPM