I bet you already know what a calorie is, so, you’re probably wondering why I’m asking “what is a calorie”.
It’s simple, you say!
A calorie makes up the food I eat.
Yes, it is – however, have you ever thought of a calorie as energy? Because, that’s exactly what it is.
A calorie is a unit that is used to measure energy. The Calorie you see on a food package is actually a kilocalorie, or 1,000 calories. A Calorie (kcal) is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water 1 degree Celsius.
If you think of a calorie as a means of energy, it adjusts your thinking when it comes to food consumption and your workouts.
Tracking your calorie intake is one of the best ways to gain control of your diet! We all could benefit by being better informed about what we are eating. By keeping track of what you’re consuming, you’re more likely to eat better, make healthier food choices, and eat according to your workout output.
In order to lose weight, you have to consume fewer calories than your body burns. Tracking calories will help ensure you create a calorie deficit. On the other hand, if you want to build muscle, you need to eat enough food for a caloric surplus. Keeping track of your calories will help you meet your specific goal. Sometimes, deciding on what your goal is may actually be the hardest part. Programs like CrossFit Oconee’s Nutrition program can actually help you decipher what it is you’re looking to achieve and design a program specific to your goals.
Once you decide on a program, tracking and recording all those snacks and meals you’re having in a day can reveal some shocking news about your eating habits! Tracking what you eat can help you to identify your good and bad eating habits.
Calorie Tracking Helps:
1. Make sure that you reach your daily goals and stay on the right track.
2. Give you increased mindfulness of your eating habits. (ex: are you eating because you’re bored or because your hungry?)
3. Open your eyes to the caloric density of foods you like to eat on a regular basis. Yes, your smoothie nearly tops 700 calories.
Tracking your food gives you FEEDBACK and this can be a powerful motivator. No more wondering if you’re overeating or under eating.
Most people have a lacking sense of reality when it comes to proper portion sizes and what a meal should look like. Tracking what you eat will help you learn to better measure and estimate portions.
If you’re looking for some help on tracking your calories, setting up a specific meal plan designed for you, or just need to chat about your nutrition needs, email Payton@crossfitoconee.com with “Help Me With My Nutrition” in the subject line. Nutrition Coach Lauren or Payton will contact you and schedule a time to meet. To view all of our nutrition plans, visit our Nutrition Program page.