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Quality or Quantity: Which Matters in Calorie Counting? - 2nd Week

By Genevieve Cunningham

When it’s time to lose weight, we all begin to focus on one simple (and not so simple) thing: Calories. Suddenly, every little calorie is a huge deal. You start to notice that items have more calories than you originally thought or that serving sizes weren’t quite what you remembered. It can get frustrating and overwhelming quickly, which often leads to binging or giving up. So, what’s the deal with calories? Do we really have to count every one? Are some better than others? Take a look at this quick information guide to help you navigate the world of calorie counting on your fitness journey.

How Many Do I Need?

This is dependent on your current body weight and composition, as well as your activity level. It could range anywhere from around 1,200 to over 2,000, all depending on your specific goals. Some apps such as Myfitnesspal or sites such as this can help give you a guide. Still, your best bet is to see a doctor or fitness professional in order to get the perfect number for your body.

Are Some Better Than Others?

Honestly, this might depend on the manner of your question. There is no doubt that 100 calories of veggies is better for your body than 100 calories of ice cream. At the same time, if you need 2,000 calories a day and you only eat 1,000, you’ll likely lose weight no matter your source. So are some better? You’ll be able to eat more food and take in far more nutrients if you go for healthy options instead of junk. While a calorie is technically a calorie, you still need balance and vitamins and minerals. Without these, you’re depriving your body no matter how many calories you consume. If you want to lose weight the healthy way, then some calories are definitely better than others.

The Final Verdict

To put it in the simplest terms: It’s both! The quantity and quality of your calories matters when it comes to losing weight and getting healthy. Though you can lose weight with calorie restriction alone, especially in the short-term, it won’t last long-term unless you pay attention to the quality as well. Fruits and veggies and lean meats still reign king. Stick to a moderate, well balanced diet, and pay attention to portion sizes and overall calorie count. With some guidance, patience, and a positive perspective, you’ll be losing weight and getting fit in no time.

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