HealthWise – The Calorie Calculations
23 November 2018| 15 Rabi ul Awwal 1440| Zahir Bassa
In a world where we are bombarded with so many different foods, whether it is the fattening French fries, sensational sweets, carbo-loaded cool drinks or beefy, tantalizing burgers, your health should not be compromised.
However, these foods still remain our kryptonite. To live a healthy life does not mean we have to cut out these foods altogether but think of them as rewards after a long week of sacrifice. Sacrifice so worthy that it shows through your external appearance and internal well-being.
In this article I am going to expand on the “C word”, no not chocolates, and definitely not carbs. I am going to teach you a little more about calories. Yes! We have all heard that word been thrown around in conversation but how much do we really know about calories. Let me break it down for you, let me grab old faithful Google and give you an Oxford explanation of what a calorie is.
“A calorie, by definition, is a unit of energy. In the sense of food measurement, a food calorie or large calorie or kilogram calorie (symbols: Cal, kcal), is defined as the heat energy required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius”
Now that we have gone through the scientific explanation let’s get down to business. As we all know and have seen, almost all the food we purchase from the supermarket has the nutritional information of the item on the back of the box or packaging laying out the content make-up per 100g in most cases. This information gives you the amount of protein, carbohydrate, fat, sodium, and cholesterol info with other important figures provided which we tend to overlook. This is the “Energy” information.
So what is this energy information we speak of? It’s to show you how much you are consuming per 100g of the product used. Okay, let’s break it down like this, an average man, weighing in at 75-80kg should consume around about 2000 calories per day in his meals. The reason for this number is because the average man burns 2000 calories a day by just living his life provided that he does enough activity during the day. The organs in your body need to function and they do this without your permission, this is called involuntary action. The heart needs energy to pump, the stomach needs energy to break down food, the intestines need energy to move the digested food around in the gut and so forth.
So how does counting calories benefit me? Well let me tell you. The more calories you burn in a day than the calories you consume will ultimately lead your body to utilize stored fat in your body as energy and this results in weight loss. That’s where you say, “Ooooh, Ahhhh I’m looking so lekker today”. Yes ladies and gentlemen, it’s a simple mathematical equation, Burning Calories > Consuming Calories = Weight Loss (BC>CC = WL). There it is, Einstein ain’t got nothing on me.
Now let’s look at examples of calories in food.
100g of cooked grilled chicken = 151 Calories
100g of steak = 183 Calories
100g of boiled potato = 72 Calories
100g of fried chips = 312 Calories
100g of chocolate = 400 Calories
100g of broccoli = 34
By these examples you can see which are the good calories and which are the bad calories..
(Side note: If you only find the energy information in KJ and not kCal or Calories then try this simple trick of dividing the KJ by 4.2 on a calculator on your phone this will give you a close enough estimate of the calories per 100g on the product)
If you burn 500 Calories more than you consume in a day over a week, by the Calorie count you should be able to burn a pound of fat which equates to 450 grams of fat. If you times that by four you can burn 1.8 kilograms of fat in a month.
If you want to go extreme (which I don’t really recommend) one can burn a pound of fat a day by doing the 500 Calorie a day meal plan. I won’t go too much into this as it will be the topic of my next article on INTERMITTENT FASTING (this one is going to be hugely interesting, so check in next week).
There you have it folks, you have gained some insight as to what calories are, now give it a try and see if this simple equation with food works. Try it for 21 days and thank me when you’re down almost 2kg of body fat.
WRITTEN BY: ZAHIR BASSA
Zahir Bassa is a radio presenter based in Durban, KZN. He Co-hosts the popular breakfast show with fellow presenter Muhammad Sheik. Zahir is also a photographer and videographer. In his spare time Zahir like going to gym, taking walks in the park and building sand castles. His favourite animal is the Unicorn