# Counting calories

based on 3 reviews

## What is a calorie?

A calorie is the energy needed to heat 1 gram of water by 1°C. You can keep track of calories to lose weight, gain weight or maintain your weight.

Consult your doctor or dietician before starting this (or any other) diet.

The word calorie is often used instead of kilocalorie. It is important to keep this in mind. When something is described to contain 4 calories it can actually mean 4 kilocalories, which is equal to 4000 calories.

## How many calories do I need?

The number of calories you need per day depends on your weight, height and age. The Harris-Benedict formula uses these factors to calculate your BMR. BMR stands for 'basal metabolic rate' and represents the amount of calories you need if you do nothing all day.

The Harris Benedict formula differs for men and women. Below you can find the formula:

## For men

BMR = 66 + (13.7 * weight in kilograms) + (5 x height in cm) - (6.8 x age in years)

## For women

BMR = 655 + (9.6 * weight in kilos) + (1.8 x height in cm) - (4.7 x age in years)

For all the things you do (e.g. cycling or walking) you need to add calories to determine the amount of calories you need (per day, on average). Many different apps can help you keep track of this.

## Keeping track of calories

Many products have the number of calories on the packaging, but not all of them do. For these products you will have to look up the calories yourself.

## Counting calories to lose weight

To give you an idea: 1 kilo of body fat equals 7700 calories. If you eat 550 calories less per day, you should lose 1 kg of body fat in 2 weeks. Note that it is unhealthy to eat far fewer calories than you need per day: it can be best to eat a little less for a long period.

Tip: first, keep track of your calories for a while without going on a diet. This will give you a good idea of your normal calorie intake.

Several books have been written on calories and calorie counting. We've listed a selection of ad links from Amazon, Apple and Ebooks of such books for you:

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• Gain weight
• Lose weight
• Part time
• Less fat

#### Exercise

As you see fit

##### Reviews (3)
Dietician

If you want to work purely on losing weight, it is important to compare calorie intake with energy usage. If usage is higher than intake, you will logically lose weight. Taking in fewer calories than consuming them does not necessarily mean you are taking in healthy calories. There are many other nutritional values that can be compared to see if a product is healthy or not.

Eline Cok, Dietician practice HRC
Dietician

The basis for any weight-loss/weight-loss diet is the balance of calorie consumption and intake. Calories say something about how much energy something gives, but nothing about the health value of a product. For example, it says nothing about the amount of fibre, vitamins, (un)saturated fat, etc. An example here is an avocado compared to a portion/bag of crisps. Both around 220 kcal, but the avocado is high in good fats, vitamins and fibre while the bag of chips is high in saturated fat, carbohydrates and salt. Reading packaging and looking up calories is good, but try to read and think beyond calories.

Erik

Calorie tracking with an app (fat secret) worked well. I started eating healthier and exercising more. However, after 2 months I was tired of entering everything in the app.

#### Dietitians

With the professional help of a dietitian it should be easier to reach your goals. Please contact a dietician in your area or talk to a doctor before starting any diet.

#### General warnings

Please take note that most diets do not have a scientific basis.

Consult your doctor or dietician before starting a diet, especially if you have a chronic condition like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lung disease or kidney disease.

#### Eating disorders

If you think you might have an eating disorder (like anorexia or bulimia), it is important to look for professional help. Contact your (house) doctor or find help elsewhere. Here you can find a list of several websites that can provide (online) help. These sites also provide information for people that know someone with an eating disorder.