500 calories

Burning the Myths around ‘Extra’ Calories

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No more junk food from tomorrow. I’m cutting down on calories.

How often have you found yourself saying that?

Ever wondered if you could get a hold of those culprit calories and burn them right there and then? Imagine burning them brutally with your own hands...slowly...silently…

Kindles your dark side, eh?

Come back, it’s too good to be true.

But the truth is, calories do love some people a little too much and they like to be with them forever in the form of stubborn fat. Calories do so many things to our body and very differently in every person. Today let’s get done with all the myths we have had about calories for a long time.

But, before we proceed can you try to recall what we learnt about calories the last time? If you were a backbencher for that lesson and all of that was a bouncer, we suggest you give it one more try.Yes, please tell me, What are Calories?

So, for a quick recap...

Calorie is not a ‘thing’, it has no physical presence in food. It is the amount of energy our body gets on eating food.

Yes, you heard us right! We all need calories in the right amounts for proper functioning of our body. And, what happens when you eat too many calories?

Weight gain!

So, does that mean weight gain and loss is more mathematics than science? Nah, not really!

Myth # 1 The NUMBER of calories is all that matters!

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So, does that mean weight gain and loss is more mathematics than science? Nah, not really!

All the guilty ones in the house, please raise your hands.

Bet, there’s no one who hasn’t given into that kind of a temptation. And why not, some extra calories can be adjusted with the help of mathematics, right?

Alas, Genius! Only sweet dreams are made of chocolates and popsicles.

It might break your heart, but 100 calories from a burger vs 100 calories from eggs are not the same. Also, skipping meals and saving on those calories only to eat all those “not consumed calories” in one cheat meal is pretty pointless and not at all healthy.

That’s not how the logic of calorie intake works. Let’s get a little geeky here and decode this like a pro.

After you eat a protein-rich food like an egg, dal, or beans, a large part of calories gets lost as heat and only few calories are consumed by the body. But, when you eat fatty food like a burger or cheesy pizza, all the calories are absorbed by the body.

Our mantra: With calories, don’t just count, but go deep down!

Myth #2 2000 Calories please!

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Confess, did you not conclude from one of the Internet studies that you and everyone on this planet needs 2000 calories a day?

Ummm, No! You are unique! And so are your calorie needs.

Don’t grin, there is no ‘one size fits all’ concept with calories. Your calorie needs depend on things like your gender, age, and your physical activity level.

BTW who defines this calorie limit? Refer to the Indian Dietary Association (IDA)! It says that an average man weighing 60 kg who works out 4 to 5 days a week needs 2800. Experts are not sexist, but a woman with same exercise routine needs only 2200 calories. Leave it to the genes who made man and woman differently.

And, you don’t need to dig into the big books to find out your daily calorie needs. There are plenty of databases and apps you can download. And they are really fun! MyFitnessPal and HealthifyMe are some of our favorites.

Our Mantra: Find out what your body is asking for!

Myth #3 - Every high-calorie food is bad

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On your journey to getting that perfect beach bod, you might tend to lean towards foods that are low in cals. After all, you just became a math scholar. But, don’t put it on the calories entirely. The calories get good or bad tags due to their food source, more precisely the food groups. Let’s put it this way, fat is a calorie-rich nutrient, but so is protein.

Omg! Now what?

On eating 100 gram of any protein food we get 40 calories. But, the same quantity of fatty food provides 90 calories. This is unfair! But an eye-opener that you get more calories on eating fatty food.

Not clear? Consider this!

A packet of potato chips may have 150 calories, which is lesser than a big cup of fresh grapes that is nearly 250 calories. Wouldn’t it be tempting to swap the snack options?

Well, not a great idea!

Potato chips are full of empty calories, just like their friends- cupcakes, cookies and colas. These are the real culprits without any nutritional value. As opposed to grapes, which is a great source of fiber, potassium, and a range of vitamins and other minerals!

Oh! But, you must know, not all fats are bad. Your body needs healthy fats. (We’ll give you an “All you need to know about Fats” read pretty soon)

Our Mantra: Every calorie-rich food is not bad, but the ones without any nutritional value are not healthy for sure.

Myth # 4 I can easily burn the extra calories

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I know I can burn the extra calories the day I hit the gym.

Umm, err… The rest is history.

Would you actually run for 30 minutes to make-up for the deep fried samosa, every time you eat it? Don’t take the science of gain and loss too literally, oh we mean mathematically.

You can try to burn the extra calories but you’ll be surprised if you know “that struggle is REAL!” More often than not, you will never succeed in burning all those stubborn empty calories.

It seems simple when your ‘health freak’ friend tells you, yeah honey you can work out extra tomorrow and burn those calories! But, does she tell you that over time, the bad calories you consume from junk food turn into stubborn fat? The same fat that sits on your belly, thighs,and the love handles.

Well, nothing much to love there.

So just remember, give your body what it needs, good calories, right carbs, healthy fats, proteins, and yes, less stress.

Our Mantra: Make room for good calories and be fit rather than becoming un-fit and sluggish feeding on bad calories.

The 500 Calorie Project Verdict:

Count calories, but not at the risk of disrupting the balance, quality and number of your meals! Listen to your body, keep your tummy happy and full all the time!

Now go and dig into a big bowl of grapes. ;)

And, btw you may block the person on your contacts who told you weight loss is only about burning calories, we will tell you how to eat calories to lose weight. Stay tuned for our next blog!