Is a Calorie Really a Calorie?: Uncovering The Real Secrets To A Healthy Diet
If you're trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or otherwise become healthier, you've definitely heard of calories. Most weight loss programs swear by calorie counting. They claim that if you create a calorie deficit, you'll lose weight. Body-building programs swear by massive calorie intakes to help build muscles. Neither of these claims is necessarily wrong, but they aren't completely right, either.
But before you can understand why these claims aren't completely right, you must first understand the answer to the question, "What is a calorie, anyway?"
What is a Calorie?
A calorie is a unit of energy that we get from our food. But calories don't just "make you gain weight." You need them for your body to function properly. Our bodies run on calories, and even without exercise, we burn these energy units by eating and surviving. Metabolizing food, breathing, sleeping, and walking — these basic functions all require calories. But what many weight loss programs don't tell you is that not all calories are created equally.
Controlling Your Hunger with the Right Calories
If you want to control your hunger (cravings included) and feel better physically, you shouldn't be counting calories. Instead, you should be focusing on where your calories come from.
Macronutrients contain specific caloric values and are metabolized differently by the body. Primary macronutrients include:
- Protein: Protein is the building block for muscle, and you need around 10 to 35% of your daily calories to come from this macronutrient.
- Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates provide immediate energy for your body's cells, but if you eat too many, they will convert to fats, so aim for 45 to 65% of your daily calories from this category.
- Fat: Fat is essential to helping you feel full and absorb vitamins well, and around 20 to 35% of your diet should come from fat.
All micronutrients contain calories, but they all do different things in your body. If you're looking for a guide to healthy eating, it should focus on a balanced diet that contains all three in the right proportions rather than focusing on eliminating one or two categories completely.
Living Healthy: Beyond Food
Calories are just part of the picture when it comes to controlling your hunger and living healthy. You also need to take a closer look at other lifestyle factors. Exercise and mental health are also an important part of this picture.
If you consume more calories than you burn through exercise, even if they are "healthy" calories, your body will store them as fat. Your body also needs exercise to build healthy, strong muscles, reduce wear and tear on the skeletal system and promote healthy aging. Consider home gym equipment as an option to help you exercise easily.
Mental health is also important. Find ways to support your mental health in addition to eating better and exercising regularly.
Home Gym Equipment That Makes a Difference
Healthy eating is just one part of the picture when it comes to controlling your hunger and getting healthy. Exercise is also part of it. Check out our selection of quality gym equipment (like our cardio equipment at a discounted price), so you can set up a home gym that will help you reach your goals.