How do you calculate your calorie intake? Know some tips, recipes on how to lose weight with exercise and diet  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
Losing weight is an important factor in living a healthy, illness-free life
People nowadays obsess over their calorie intake, and want to ensure they do not consume extra calories which can lead to weight loss
An expert explains how you can count your calories correctly, and gives tips on how to lose weight healthily
New Delhi: Food and life are indispensable from each other. As important as food is for the body, we often end up gaining weight due to eating too much. However, it is not just about the quantity of what we eat, but also about the quality. If we binge on processed, unhealthy foods, it is inevitable to gain weight, even when you practice portion control. At the same time, a diet on its own can do little for the body if you do not provide the process with regular and consistent physical activity in the form of some or the other exercise.
Since exercise and diet both play such a vital role in weight loss, it is important to know the right amount of exercise, and the right nutrients you must consume to achieve your goal weight. Greata Sherene Robinson, nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Chennai, shares with us the importance of diet and exercise for a healthy body, how much of each you need, and a healthy recipe to help you in the practicality of the weight loss idea.
How exercise and diet are important for weight loss
The most effective way to achieve a complete fitness goal is to know the calculation of what we eat. It is important to know the components of your food, such as how many carbohydrates, how much protein, fat, calories, etc are you consuming. “Excuses burn zero calories” is a common statement we come across which can be altered by saying that exercise burns a ton. When your heart says yes to a yummy cheesecake, the mind keeps warning us about the waistline. So, fitness and food go hand in hand. If your left-hand lifts a dumbbell, make sure your right-hand gets a bowl of protein snack.
The most important nutrients for a healthy body
Food fuels our body. Whether you walk, jump or swim around, you need to eat a nutritious balanced diet to fuel your body. The macros play a major role in this balance. Coming to the carbs, it forms the base of any diet. The body utilizes them as glucose which is used by the muscles for energy. Choose carbs wisely by sticking to more of complex carbohydrates. All your ripped muscles need to undergo repair for which protein is a must. To help access all the stored carbohydrates, healthy fats come in place. Carbs and fats are the main sources of energy during any fitness regimen. Microminerals and vitamins like vitamin C, E, carotenoids and flavonoids help in healing muscle injury. Water keeps the muscle activated and prevents dehydration.
How do you calculate if your calorie consumption is at par with your exercise regimen?
One calorie is basically the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water through 1° C.
To understand it the simple way, (1 g =? kcal)
Carbohydrates – 4 Kcal
Protein – 4 kcal
Fat – 9 kcal
For example, suppose you buy a chocolate bar on which the label reads as:
Carbohydrates – 58.5 g x 4 kcal = 234 kcal
Protein – 7.8 g x 4 kcal = 31 kcal
Fat – 31.1 g x 9 kcal = 280 kcal
Makes a total of 545 kcal/100 g.
This is the way we calculate calories. But remember that calorie intake differs from individual to individual based on factors like age, height, sex and lifestyle. Let’s look at how to get the right food in appropriate quantity to keep our fitness goals on track.
Tips to keep calorie intake in check to lose weight
Include macros for the day but choose the right ones. Stick to more of whole foods than refined.
Have smaller meals i.e. 6-8 meals per day so that you do not overdo on calories. Choose smaller plates which encourages smaller portions.
Read the labels and note the number of calories a food offers before buying them.
Always keep protein-rich snack handy – to fuel before and after any fitness regimen.
Refrain from high fatty foods, saturated & trans-fat, extra salt and sugar to cut down those extra dozens of calories per day.
Stick to nutrient-dense meals and portion size the meal well. Work on chewing the meal well.
Avoid heavy salad dressing, deep-fried foods and solid fats which add a lot of empty calories to your plate.
Write down a food journal and keep a count of macros and the empty calories you take. Sort them out.
Dance your way to burn those calories obtained from an unhealthy meal.
Do not be obsessed over scales or number, but be content on how your body is tuning up for good in terms of metabolism and lifestyle. Walk your way into a healthy routine to build a healthier lifestyle.
Please note – In pregnancy, exercise caution while taking any type of fasts, as the baby’s needs are specific and usually fasting is not encouraged. If you are still keen to know how to modify your diet during Navratri, please contact your nutritionist for safe personalized guidance via a video consultation so that you can reach out from the safety and comfort of your homes.
An easy, low-calorie recipe to help you lose weight quickly
Banana, 1 – frozen (100g)
Curd – 2 teaspoons
Almond milk – 50 ml
Oats – 1/2 cup
Chia seeds – 1 teaspoon
Pumpkin and sunflower seeds – fistful
Grind them all together. Sprinkle the seeds on top. The shake makes for a great post-workout meal. It is a good source of potassium, proteins. It contains oats which are a slow digestible fibre that keeps you fuller for a longer duration.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.