Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Counting Your Calories?

Most of us have had a friend drive us crazy with their calorie counting at some stage of our lives. Maybe you were the one obsessing about how many calories you were putting into your mouth and onto your hips. It is getting a bit obsessive when you fret over every calorie. So, is calorie counting a good way to diet?
Like everything else in life, a calorie is neither good nor bad. It is the value we assign to it that makes it appear good or bad. If you lived in the Arctic you would think of calories as good because you need to keep warm and a calorie is the measurement we use to work out how much energy we need to keep warm.
Dieters do tend to think of calories as bad because they are a reminder of past overindulgence. They hate to admit their favourite foods are full of calories and are torn between the urge to overindulge in their favourites and the urge to be healthy.
Calorie counting can be a good thing. In order to eat a healthy well-balanced diet we need to be aware of portion control and of the value of the food we eat. A calorie is a good place to start. We determine how many calories we require to maintain our weight and our health and then we plan a diet around that figure. If we want to lose weight, we consume a bit less than our maintenance level of calories. If we need to put on weight, we consume slightly more than our maintenance level.
To have a healthy diet we also need to be aware of the nutritional value of our food. If we consume our daily limit of calories in chocolate, it will be far less healthy than if we choose the same calorific value in salads.
Counting calories is not the only way to monitor and maintain a healthy diet. It is a good guide to help us with portion control and it can help in the selection of a variety of foods. You should count calories and learn the calorific value of the foods you regularly eat. It will give you an idea of how much you need to eat and help you not overeat.
Combine counting calories with your knowledge of nutrition and a sensible exercise routine and you will have no trouble maintaining your ideal weight.
The best way to maintain a healthy weight is to follow a nutritional, balanced diet and exercise regularly. If you do this you will build muscle, lose excess weight, look great and feel amazing. Wendy Streater loves the tips found at