Whether you maintain your weight or gain or lose weight depends on your calorie intake at the end of the day. But are calories the same as calories? Is there such a thing as good calories?
Calorie – what is it anyway?
Calorie is a unit for energy, work and amount of heat. The energy content of the nutrients fat, protein and carbohydrates and the energy requirement are expressed in kilocalories (kcal). Our body needs the energy of the three macronutrientsto all body functions maintain.
Calorie intake is crucial
The formula is simple: if you eat fewer calories than you burn, you lose weight. If you want to lose 1 kg of fat, you have to burn about 7000 kcal.
Do you eat more than you burn? The result is weight gain. In such a case, it doesn’t matter whether you’re getting your calories in the form of protein, carbohydrates, or fat. However, it does have an impact on how you feel. Or whether you are already two hours after your main meal struggling with food cravings have.
Good calories vs. bad calories
Suppose you would exclusively yourself feed on pure sugar. The intake would not exceed your daily calorie requirement, you would keep your weight. But what would happen? You would suffer from an extreme nutritional deficiency and your body can no longer function properly. After all, pure sucrose does not provide any valuable nutrients. This not only affects your well-being, but also your skin and your immune system.
Do not forget:
(Healthy) foods are not just made up of calories. Rather, they are packed full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It also depends on how full you are afterwards.
This is what good calories and bad calories from a wide variety of foods look like:
So what are bad or good calories?
There are a few simple principles to changing your eating habits around mostly good calories. Start by eliminating the typical Western diet, which is characterized by high intakes of meat, fried, sweet and processed foods from your menu. Substitute animal products that often saturated fats contained by herbal products.
When you’re ready for a bigger change, switch to a vegan diet and find out how you feel about it. Herbal products are high in good calories and nutrients. You don’t have to go completely without meat if you don’t want to. Try new foods and recipes to add variety to your new diet. Studies show that a diet based on whole grains with a high proportion of fruits, vegetables, fish and nuts lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, inflammation and depression. (1,2)
In the case of foods rich in sugar or fast food – which contain so-called bad calories – the opposite is the case: they are low in nutrients, but extremely high in calories. In order to maintain your weight, you would have to limit your intake. You don’t get really full and you have food cravings. Treat yourself to this “Empty calories” only now and then.
The best approach would be not to think in terms of “good” or “bad” food categories. Rather to listen to your bodywhat feels right to you. If you fancy french fries – go ahead! And don’t regret it afterwards. Just sharpen your awareness of how you feel after eating different foods. Once you become aware of this, it will no longer be difficult for you to reach for a handful of almonds instead of gummy bears.