The health campaigns all keep saying the same thing over and over again. Watch for calories.
Fact: the average American has no clue what a calorie is or how many they need. Telling a person to watch for calories often does more harm than good. This is reflected in our nation’s poor health and expanding waistlines despite decades of watching calories.
Imagine driving through the mountains and all the signs simply said “Watch.” If you don’t know what you’re watching for it does you exactly no good. You have no idea if you’re watching for falling rocks, Sasquatch, deer crossing or your language.
Every meal, snack and beverage is an opportunity for nutrition. By limiting intake, opportunities for nutrition are also limited. While it is true that more calories consumed than calories expended over time will result in weight gain, but that is only part of the picture.
When focus becomes exclusively on the caloric content of food rather than the nutritional value overall, nutrient deficiencies occur. Often times these nutrient deficiencies can lead to a decline in health, weight stagnation/gain, poor sleep and impaired cognitive functions (fancy speak for inability to think straight).
IT’S THE NUTRITION WITHIN THE CALORIES THAT IS IMPORTANT.
It’s impossible to get the nutrition one needs for health and well-being on only 800 or 1000 calories, let alone the nutrition needed to lose weight.
Losing weight is a healing process. In any other aspect of life we consider the restructuring of tissues in our body to return to health as a healing process, but few apply that to weight loss. If a femur is broken and the bone grows back together, we define that as healing. When a person loses weight the healthy way, what we see is a decrease in fat tissue, an increase in muscle tissue, hormonal balancing and repair of organ and vascular tissue. This too is healing.
The body needs key nutrients in order to heal. The best way to get a plentiful, variety of nutrients is to eat a wide range of healthy foods. The body needs a certain amount of calories to run basic functions and more to heal. Add working out into the equation and more calories are needed. If you try to skip the increase in calories to support your gains, you'll end up losing... your temper, your stamina and your friends due to a serious case of being hangry. You must support your efforts with proper nutrition.
To see progress remember nutrition is key and deprivation is a way of the past. View calories as just one of the nutrients food has to offer. Yes, calories are a nutrient. They are the energy supply the human body is designed to run on and that makes them a vital nutrient.
Make sure that beyond calories the foods and beverages you choose also contain healthy macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) and loads of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals).
To lose weight you must create a caloric deficit by combining a less calories in and more calories out. No two ways about it; to get a slim, healthy figure, healthy diet and physical activity must be combined. A health care professional can help you find the exact number of calories you need to maintain your current weight and thus recommend a caloric range to help you lose weight.
Several websites and apps can give you a ballpark figure as well, but be weary of anything below 1200 calories. For many adult women 1400 to 1600 calories plus increased physical activity is recommended to lose weight. For the adult male 1600 to 2000 calories plus an increase in physical activity is recommended.
Now that you have a calorie range, pack as much nutrition in those calories to give you the nourishment you need to get into your adipose reserves and breakdown fat, thus losing weight and achieving healing.
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