The Science Behind Calories (The Simple Explanation)
We tend to associate calories with food and how fat it’s going to make us if we eat too much. This is true that if we consume too many calories, we will gain weight. But why will we gain weight?
What is a Calorie?
A lot of people are not aware that a calorie is a unit of energy. The calories you read on the back of a nutrition label are telling you how many units of energy you will be consuming if you eat that food. For this reason just because something has 500 calories doesn’t make it bad for you. What does make a food bad for you are the harmful ingredients it may contain.
Why you gain weight
The reason you gain weight from eating too many calories is because you do not expend those calories. If you sit around all day you are not using any of that energy you put into your body, thus transforming that unused energy into fat.
Now of course your body burns calories through digestion, you need a certain amount of calories to be alive. But not having any physical exercise is rarely enough to burn the average person’s calorie intake.
The reason a lot of diets don’t work is because people are not changing their long-term diets. You are just cutting out some calories for a given amount of time and going back to your original consumption is only going to get you back to where you started. This is why exercise is very important and why fad diets don’t work.
By exercising you increase your metabolism in the long run, which henceforth increases the rate in which your body uses those calories. Also you’re using that energy in that moment, so it won’t become fat.
So don’t worry too much about how many calories something is. Make sure your food is made with all natural ingredients. Avoid processed foods and foods high in sugars and bad fats. You don’t need to diet to loose weight; you just need to eat better food, not less!