Understanding The Connection Between Nutrition and Calories

There are several links between nutrition and calories. Whether you are trying to lose weight, maintain your size or build muscle, it is important to learn about the link between nutrition and calories. An in-depth understanding of the way your nutrients deliver calories to your body can help you make good dietary choices on your journey through life. Having a good grasp on this topic will help you decipher between scientific and anecdotal nutrition advice provided by well-meaning individuals. As your body composition goals change, you can use this knowledge to alter your food choices and intake levels to reach your goals faster than ever.

Calories Per Gram

The fats, proteins and carbohydrates you consume provide your body with varying calorie counts. Both protein and carbohydrates have four calories per gram, while fats provide more than double those numbers at nine calories per gram.

Many diets suggest keeping fat consumption down due to the calorie density of this nutrient. Unlike carbohydrates, fat is an essential nutrient that your body cannot live without. When you keep your sugar consumption low, your body actually converts fat to energy without storing the excess in your cells. You must pay attention to the type of fat you consume, however, as saturated fats can boost your bad cholesterol and cause health problems down the road.

Diets that focus on keeping carbohydrate levels in check are based around the knowledge that your body stores excess sugar, not used for energy, in the fat cells. Lean protein is a vital part of almost every diet due to its ability to keep you feeling satiated without loading on the calories. Lean protein is the perfect balance between nutrition and calories.

A man and his son preparing food. The man is slicing something on a cutting board and the son is getting some green leafs ready.Carbs and protein count for 4 calories each, fat for 9 calories each.

Caloric Expenditures

Your body composition goals greatly influence the number of calories you may consume each day. If you are trying to lose one pound per week, you will need to decrease your daily calorie consumption by about 500 calories a day, or 3500 for the week. If you want to maintain your current size, you will need to consume the same amount of calories your body expends each day.

You can input your weight, height and activity levels into a calorie calculator to find your average daily caloric expenditure. You will then add calories burned through daily exercise sessions to this base number. From there, you can decide to add or subtract calories to reach your goals.

Keeping Your Nutrition And Calories In Check

You can use a meal and fitness tracker to keep a close eye on your calories. The tracker allows you to tally up your daily meals to see the calories and nutrients you consume each day. The fitness portion helps offset your consumed calories by calculating and subtracting your increased expenditure for that day. If you are tracking to improve your weight loss, it is not generally recommended to eat back the extra expended calories. If you are trying to build increased muscle size, however, you can eat back the expended calories to give your body the boost it needs to grow bigger.

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› Nutrition and Calories
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