How to maintain calories?
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How to maintain calories?

Maintain calories

Maintaining Calories 

A calorie is a unit of energy and is defined as the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1ml of water by one degree Celsius. 

We need calories to survive. Our body cells would die without energy, our lungs and heart would stop. Even our organs would not be able to carry out the basic functions needed for living. We get energy by eating food and drinking liquids.

If we consume the exact calories required every day, we can lead a healthy and energetic life. The imbalance in calorie consumption is the root cause of various health problems. 

The number of calories in any specific food determines the potential energy that it contains. Calories alone cannot be sufficient for a healthy body, the substance from which the calories are absorbed is equally important. 

What is a balanced diet?

A balanced diet is a menu that can give our body the required nutrients to function properly.

Most of our daily calories come from fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, milk and meat.

What is the importance of a balanced diet?

A balanced diet provides the essential nutrients to our body so that we can work effectively without getting tired anytime soon. Without proper nutrition, we are more likely to get infected with various diseases. It also hampers our performance and we suffer from fatigue as well.

Along with proper calorie intake, physical exercise is also important. Without exercise, we will be at a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

According to a research article, the average daily calorie consumption per day across all groups in India is below the recommended 2503 kcal, except for the richest 5% of the population. Indians across the country have an unhealthy diet regime and they consume an excess amount of cereals neglecting proteins, fruits and vegetables. 

What does a balanced diet look like?

A balanced diet must include:

  • Proteins
  • Healthy fats
  • Carbohydrates (starch and fibre)
  • Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants

These nutrients can be absorbed from:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Grains
  • Dairy 
  • Meat, eggs, fish, beans and nuts

Vegans can add tofu and beans, which can give similar nutrients to that of meat. Lactose intolerant people can also build a balanced diet by choosing a variety of nutrient-rich replacements.

Foods that can disrupt your diet:

  • Packed/processed foods
  • Refined grains
  • Foods rich in sugar and salt
  • Red meat and processed meat
  • Alcohol

One thing to note here is that what is healthy for one person may not be healthy for another, like, whole wheat four can be a healthy ingredient for some people but not for gluten intolerant people.

What is a calorie deficit? 

A calorie deficit can be defined as any shortage in the number of calories consumed to the number of calories required for the proper maintenance of the body weight. A calorie deficit can be created by reducing the calorie intake. 

What are empty calories?

Empty calories provide energy but they have very little or no nutritional value. The foods that contain empty calories have no dietary fibre, amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins or minerals. Mainly, the empty calories come from solid fats and added sugars. 

Solid fats exist naturally in many foods but in other foods, they are often added during industrial processing and preparation as well. Butter is an example of solid fat.

Added sugars are sweeteners that are added to foods and beverages during industrial processing. They are filled with empty calories due to added sugars like sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup. These are added to make the drinks more enjoyable. However, due to these added sugars, people are at a high risk of developing obesity.

Sources of empty calories are mainly from foods and drinks like:

  • Alcohol
  • Donuts
  • Ice-cream
  • Pastries
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Hot dogs
  • Cheese
  • Pizza
  • Fruit and energy drinks
  • Soda 

1500 calorie diet plan

It is very important to prepare your diet plan systematically and with precision. Losing weight requires effort and patience, with the help of a well-crafted diet plan, you can easily achieve your fitness goals! 

The majority of your diet should include:

  • Fruits and non -starchy vegetables
    • Eggs and meat
    • Whole grains like oats, barley, millet, brown rice, etc
    • Plant-based protein foods like tofu and tempeh
    • Unsweetened plant-based milk like coconut milk, almond milk, etc
    • Low-calorie beverages coffee, green tea, etc
    • Healthy fats, which can be absorbed from eating avocados, unsweetened coconut
    • Always add plenty of fibre-rich and protein-rich foods in your diet like beans and berries which can help in preventing binge-eating.

    Number of calories required to maintain weight

    We all are built differently and there cannot be a particular number that can define how healthy we are but a rough estimation by researchers suggest that an active female must intake 2000-2400 calories and for male, it should be 2400-3000.

    Number of calories required to lose weight

    It is recommended to lose a pound per week i.e decrease a total of 500 calories per day. Weight loss is a slow process and a decrease of 10 calories per day can lead to a loss of about one pound in a year. You have to be patient and work on your routine strictly. However, if you are unable to plan out things yourself then find the right plan with the help of a dietitian.

    Number of calories required to gain weight

    To get the best results, choose foods that are low in calories but rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre.

    Also, a dietitian can guide you better after examining your age, past weight records and activity levels.

    Take away

    A healthy diet usually contains plenty of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and does not include any type of packed or processed food. 

    Check out our blog on tips for a healthy lifestyle