The Calorie

I stopped caring much about calories a few years ago.  Yes, it is true that balancing caloric intake with caloric output is ultimately what matters when it comes to maintaining a certain weight.  However, there is much more to a calorie than it’s ability to change a number on the scale.  Here are a few thoughts:

  • 1 gram of protein contains 4 calories, 1 gram of carbohydrates contains 4 calories, 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories.  What does this mean?  If you choose nutrient-dense foods, they will likely be less in calories.  If you choose fat-filled foods, they will have a higher caloric amount.  No matter what kind of fat you eat, it will all have a lot of calories, therefore make your fat worthwhile so that it will have some redeeming value (think avocados and olive oil).
  • Being active throughout your day will often burn just as many overall calories as sitting all day, then getting in a 30 minute workout.  There are so many benefits to exercise OTHER than burning calories.  Seeing exercise not only as a way to balance calories will make it more enjoyable.  
  • In years past, Americans were thinner.  In years past, Americans didn’t count calories.  Caring about calories DOES NOT equate with being healthy (or being thin).
  • Don’t get me wrong, there is a right time and place to count calories.  However, for the average person, it can lead to obsessive thoughts and let-downs.  Reconsider if calorie-counting is right for you.  The body has an amazing ability to regulate itself when it is well-taken care of.   
  • When I look at a food label, rarely do I pay attention to calories.  I care more about what’s in my food–like, is it even really food at all?  Will it nourish my body? 
My bottom line:  focus on nutrition, not calories.  Stay active, eat protein, have self-control.  It’s easy, right?   🙂
Speaking of calories…it’s been so hot this week!  A great activity to do with kids in the heat is go to a place like Bounce U where they can burn some units of heat energy.

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