Let me share with you a story. So, a couple of days back when I visited my gym, I was astounded to see a young girl of age 18 to 20, alarmingly overweight, enrolling herself for the weight-loss programme. I overheard her anxious parents complain to her gym instructor, about her addiction to binge on junk-food, full of unhealthy calories, every now and then. The worried mother further informed that she had been putting weight-loss advice on a deaf ear, for years now!
Being committed to the fitness industry for many years now, I have realised, yes it is important to develop the habit of working-out; but the more important factor is to maintain a proper D.I.E.T. to stay in proper shape, without compromising your nutrition.Your body has particular calorie requirement needs, in any of these two cases— whether you are aiming for weight-loss, or you have already lost the weight and want to maintain it.
In the scope of this article I will discuss with you, how you can lose weight maintaining your calorie requirements during weight-loss, and also will narrate the importance of TDEE calculator, alongside delineating the process to calculate daily calorie requirement, while you devote yourself on a weight-loss journey!
What Calories Really Are?
In our generation, people are either not at all concerned with “Calories” they are intaking, or they are so concerned about the E.V.I.L. ‘Calories’ that they just don’t wanna eat. Well, both these cases are wrong!
The concept of calorie is as old as the Vedas. In the Vedas, the word ‘Prana” was mentioned, which is nothing but an ancient reference to Calorie. By its dictionary meaning ‘Prana’ means energy. And Calorie is nothing but energy. It is the energy your body gains by consuming food. Now, it is not recommendable to intake too much of calorie, as the excess portion of the calorie is stored inside the body as unrequited body fat; neither is it the right way to keep your body deficient of its calorie requirements, because then the body cannot store the essential amount of body fat, we all need to have.
More to it, in case of nutrition studies we term calorie as Kilocalorie. And why so? Because in food, a large proportion of calories are present. Kilocalorie is the unit of energy your body gains from consuming food.
Therefore, when you eat a food that has 500 Calories in it, your body gains a dose of the same amount of energy. It will then bank upon the 500-cal-energy store to run its activities, and whatever energy will be left, after the physical activities are done, is going to be stored as your body fat.
How To Meet the Calorie Requirement for Weight-Loss
Calories are present in every type of food. But not every type of food has the same type of calorie, in them. You might get an instant boost of 150 calories, consuming a 12oz Coke can, and the same amount of calorie your body would receive by intaking 1KG of lettuce.
Therefore, you can feel the difference!
When you are planning to lose weight, it is recommended by most of the nutritionists (and personally by me too) that your calorie burnt should be greater than your calorie intake. This equation of energies (Energy Burnt＞Energy Consumed), has to be maintained sustainably, if you want to lose weight, in the scientific way, that doesn’t cost your health.
Now, to maintain this balance you need to intake the right kind of food. Aristotle once said:
‘The whole is greater than the sum of its part’
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The concept is perhaps the truest in case of food and nutrition. As we stated earlier, the concept of ‘Prana” also seconds this parameter of judging a food by the wholesome nutrition it provides.
- The energy we receive from a food is definitely a sum of its Calories, and nutrients and never any of them alone. Therefore, you know that you are consuming the right type of food when you find the food incorporates in it the right balance between calories and nutrients.
- A slice of pizza may give you a lot of calories, but it has a low share of nutrients in it. On the other hand, our very own, the regular rajma chawal can provide the right proportion of calories, one requires for weight-loss, without compromising in its nutrient values.
- Give a person pizza at a stretch for a week. On the eighth day, he will refuse—rather his body will! But, a staple of rajma chawal can never go wrong…neither in taste, nor in its calorie measures and of course not in terms of its nutritional value.
- This is a thumb-rule for weight-loss— Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods!
Understanding in-depth what calorie really is, how to calculate it, how to sustainably cut-down calorie intake to lose weight, and why it is necessary to calculate the calorie units we intake in forms of foods— are the key factors for a fitness enthusiast to keep his calorie requirement perfect for weight-loss.
How to Calculate Daily Calorie Requirements— How to lose weight using TDEE Calculator?
How many calories per day one requires, is not the same for every individual. It depends on a lot of factors, viz., an individual’s weight, height, gender and also what kind of a workout regime one follows, highly contributes in measuring his/her daily calorie requirements.
Now, here comes the role of TDEE calculators—making your job easy…
The full-term of TDEE is Total Daily Energy Expenditure. It is hard to standardise TDEE, as it keeps on varying day by day, and from person to person.
Now, the next question is: How Can TDEE Be Calculated?
TDEE is calculated based on many factors. It takes into account Basal Metabolic Rate( BMR), along with the person’s activity level and thermic effect of food. BMR is the minimum energy needed to make a person’s vital body organs function properly, along with the person’s activity level and thermic effect of food. The thermic effect of food ,basically, is the 10% energy out of the total food consumption, used by the body to process the food we eat. Broadly there can be seven types of exercise patterns; considered while calculating TDEE—
- A person’s BMR
- Negligible to null amount of exercise
- Working out, for 1-3times per week
- Exercising 4-5 times on weekly basis
- Intense exercise for almost 3-4 times on a weekly basis
- Working-out intensely for 6-7 times in a whole week
- Very intense, almost athlete like exercise on a daily basis
More to it, we term exercising, as a physical job performed for 15-30 minutes to elevate heart rate activity. Likewise, intense exercise is performed for 45-120 minutes, to elevate the heart rate activity. Athletes perform very intense exercise for more than 2 hrs., and it increases their heart rate.
TDEE is also calculated, on the basis of some equations, for example: Mifflin St-Jeor equation, Harris-Benedict Equation and the formula by Katch-McArdle.
These formulas basically multiply BMR, by the activity level of a person. Sometimes, the thermic effect of food is also taken into consideration for calculating TDEE, but it is not as important as the other two.
I personally use VegFit Calorie Calculator to instantly calculate BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and Daily calorie requirement (TDEE)
What is Calorie Deficiency?: A Calorie Requirement for Weight-Loss.
To lose weight, you need to keep your consumed amount of calories less than what you use in a day. This equation of burning more calories than intaking is referred to as a ‘Calorie Deficit’.
Calorie deficit is the primary rule, for weight-loss. It takes 3,500 extra calories to generate one pound of fat. Therefore, to lose that one pound of unrequited fat, you need to burn out 3,500 calories. So, distribute it over a week— you need to shred 3500/7 = 500 calories a day, over all.
Calorie Deficit= Calories Burnt ﹣ Calories Consumed
There are only three ways to create a calorie deficit for weight-loss. And they are—
- Eat fewer calories than you burn each day, only with the help of BMR
- Burn out more calories than you intake, with the help of physical activity and BMR
- Eat fewer calories, and combine it with exercise, which helps you to lose weight in the most effective way.
How Much Calorie Deficit is Healthy?
Generally, a calorie deficit of 300-500 calories on a daily basis is effective to sustainably shred weight. You need to invest in picking up foods, which are nutrient rich, for eg., fruits, vegetables, and home-cooked meals, that accelerate your calorie deficit pockets, effortlessly, for better weight-loss experience.
Popular Diets and their pros/cons
Here, we have gathered a popular list of four simple and popular diet plans, that will help you to maintain your calorie deficiency in the right way. However, for a better result, one would need professional guidance from nutrition experts. I myself, provide customised healthy diet plans according to my clients’ needs. (For a personalized diet or workout plan, apply here. – )
These diets are easy, affordable and suitable to an Indian healthy lifestyle—
1. Intermittent Fasting
What is Intermittent fasting? It is a dietary plan that rotates between periods of fasting and eating
Weight Loss: Can cause 3-4% of weight loss, in a period of 3-24 weeks
Pros: Studies show that intermittent fasting facilitates anti-ageing, increases insulin production, improves brain health etc.
Cons: May cause blood-sugar level drop, in sensitive adults
2. Plant-Based Vegan Diet
What is Vegan Diet: This type of diet restricts animal products for health, ethical and environmental reasons
Weight Loss: Research shows, those who follow plant-based diets lose 2 kg more than those who include animal products in their diet, in the same period of time.
Pros: Reduces risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Cons: Sometimes they create nutrient deficiency of iron, Vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, zinc and omega-3 fatty acid.
3. Low Carb Diet
What is Low Carb Diet: Low carb- diets are plans for food, that replaces high calories carbs with comparatively low calorie protein and restricted amount of fat intake
Weight Loss: Many studies indicate that low- carb diets facilitate more weight-loss than low-fat diets.
Pros: It reduces risk of high cholesterol levels, heart diseases and hypertension.
Cons: May result in raising LDL(Bad) cholesterol levels in blood.Sometimes, very low carb intake cause digestive system anomalies.
4. Low Fat Diet
What is Low Fat Diet: Low-Fat diets considerably cut down fat intakes It replaces fat with micro-nutrients like protein and carbs Fat provides about twice the number of calories per gram, which is not good for weight-loss
Weight Loss: An analysis, showed that low-fat diet caused small but significant change in weightBut it cut down the waist circumference area, notably
Pros: It reduces heart disease and stroke
Cons: Fat is important to our bodyNot intaking fat for a long time, can cause health damage
How to Track Daily Calorie Intake?
One can use the HealthifyMe app to count calories required to intake on a daily basis. HealthifyMe transforms such vital details of one’s body into BMI. More to it, as per the app one has to set us one’s fitness goals. Based on this information, HealthifyMe you receive guidance about calorie intake management. Now, suppose you are working out on a daily basis put the data in the app, they will adjust their advice accordingly You can take the help of experts, available on their platform, too.
A Word from Us, Team VegFit
I along with my team at VegFit are committed to bringing up to you, the best possible guidance to stay fit. Obesity is an alarming concern of the world Therefore, be cautious about how many calories you intake. On the other hand don’t stay underfed in order to create a calorie deficit to maintain calorie requirements for weight-loss. Always, take help of TDEE calculators to check your calorie requirements on a daily basis, while you are working-out or may be not! Fall back on trustworthy apps like @Healthifyme, which guides in the scientific way. Never experiment with something, you don’t know, especially in matters of health.
On that note, let it be all for today…We meet soon!