Surprising Things You Probably Don’t Know About Calories
We are a calorie-obsessed country. We obsess about how many calories we consume on a daily basis and then we turn around an eat way too many of them. We know so much about calories and how they affect our body weight, but most of us don’t really know all that much. In fact, only about 12 percent of people in the USA can estimate how many calories they consume each day! Here are some facts about calories and how they work that just might surprise you!
Gym Machines Can’t Actually Accurately Measure Calories
Most people who work out hard at the gym have a mentality that they must sweat for their food. These people know that in order to lose weight they must work off all of the calories they have eaten in a day. This is great mentality to have, but you shouldn’t base what you can eat on how many calories you burned off on the treadmill.
Many people feel like they worked hard so they can eat whatever they want afterwards. This, sadly, is just not true. Don’t expect your gym’s workout machines to accurately predict how many calories you have burned off either.
You need to pay serious attention to how many calories you consume both before and after your workout, and you need to pay attention to how you are consuming those calories. For example, if you walk two miles on a treadmill, you might think you have done well and deserve a snack. But a very small handful of chips can quickly undo all of that work!
Serving Sizes Can Deceive You
Most of us are concerned about eating too many calories in a single meal so we read the labels and only eat the recommended serving sizes for that amount of calories. Sounds simple right? As it turns out, there aren’t any real standards for the serving sizes of packaged foods. The serving sizes for one product may be much larger than the serving size of another product, so even though you are only eating a single serving you end up eating a lot more calories.
Different foods will have different serving sizes as well. For example, most food companies call a serving of cereal 50 grams. But the type of cereal will determine what that 50 grams is. So a fluffy, light sugar cereal will probably take up more than a full cup and a half, while a denser granola cereal will only take up half of a cup.
You can overcome this by carefully reading the labels and paying attention to your serving sizes. Another thing to watch out for are the number of servings in a package. A single serving may only have 100 calories in it, but the whole package actually contains four servings, which is really 400 calories.
Not All Calories are the Same
For years doctors have been telling you that a calorie is a calorie, regardless of whether or not it is a healthy calorie. New research shows that this is not true. If you eat 100 calories of a healthy food, such as a fruit, and 100 calories of a horribly unhealthy food, like French fries, odds are you are going to gain more weight from the unhealthy calories.
Healthy calories, like vegetables, fruits, nuts and low fat protein, require more energy to chew and digest. You also get more valuable nutrients from them and feel fuller for a longer period of time, which reduces the likelihood that you will have to eat again sooner. So it turns out that the quality of the calories you consume is just as important as the amount.
Don’t let these calorie surprises sneak up on you! Pay attention to them and gain the most amount of benefit from your diet and exercise program.
About the Author
Victory Lean is a writer at Di Cigs.com – an Electronic Cigarette showcase. She likes to share lifestyle tips and advices for healthy living.