If you are on a mission to lose weight, one thing you are very likely doing is trying your hand at calorie counting. You have heard before counting calories are critical to success, and there is nothing closer to the truth. If you do not have the right energy balance as you go about your goal to shed fat, you are not going to see the results you are hoping.
But, is counting calories as simple as adding up numbers? It turns out; it isn’t. Here are a few points to remember about counting calories…
1. Calories Are Not Always Reported Accurately. First, note calories are not always reported accurately on food labels. For instance, there can be a 10% difference either way in how many calories are presented as being in the food and how many calories are actually in the food.
While this may not seem like too big of a deal – 10% should not amount to much, but if it is occurring often, it can sway your numbers.
Remember you are only ever getting an estimate of how many calories you are taking in. It is impossible to get 100% accuracy.
2. Your Body Processes Calories Differently. The next point to remember is your body will burn and process calories differently, depending on the foods you eat. For instance, if you eat food high in protein, you are going to expend more calories just breaking it down compared to food high in carbs.
Likewise, if the food is natural and contains more dietary fiber, this too will net you fewer calories than if the food is processed. Natural food breaks down very quickly in the body as the fiber is part of the food the body can’t break down so speeds up digestion. While again, this won’t amount to a huge difference, over time it can add up and sway your results and is yet another reason why it is critical you are focusing on wholesome and natural foods as you go about your diet plan.
3. Your Exercise Habits Make A Difference. Finally, note your exercise habits can also influence your total calorie intake. While most people think exercise only impacts the output side of the equation, this isn’t the case.
The more you exercise, the higher your insulin sensitivity will be and the better you will be able to process the carbohydrates you eat leading to a lower risk of converting those carbs to body fat stores. Instead, the carbohydrates will convert to energy and be stored in your muscles.
Those who exercise tend to utilize their foods better, so this can influence their body weight and composition.
Keep these points in mind and remember, a calorie is not just a calorie. While tracking your calories is certainly critical for optimal results, it is not the entire picture for optimal success.