When it comes to having goals, you need to know your “why.” It doesn’t matter if it’s a goal for fitness, work, personal, etc. If you do not have a purpose, it is extremely easy to give up. In the fitness industry, it is extremely common to see people talking about calories and how they’ve managed to count them for weight loss, or muscle building. You probably saw their amazing results and felt motivated to do the same. But, before you consider thoughts on manipulating calories to reach a goal, you should first understand why calories are so important.
Calories Are Energy
Calories are units of energy we get from consuming food. Your body gets energy from calories to produce heat. Heat energy is what gives us the fuel we need to function properly. Imagine a car. If your car doesn’t have the gas it needs, it won’t work. So, without calories, we simply would not survive. Calories are incredibly important regardless of your personal fitness goal.
Now that we’ve gone over the science of why calories are important, let’s talk about the fun stuff.
Calories Control Your Weight
This is where your personal goals come to play. Your weight can be manipulated through the calories you eat. If your goal is to lose 10 lbs., you can do this by being in a caloric deficit. This means you are eating less calories than what you’re burning. Or, maybe you want to gain 10 lbs. In this case, you should be eating more calories than what you’re burning. Let’s say you don’t care to lose or gain weight...that is fine too. No matter what, the calories you eat will determine your weight. If you don’t count calories, we highly endorse eating a whole foods diet, making sure to limit, and if possible, eliminate heavily processed food. This way, the calories you eat are coming from natural, whole sources. When you consume heavily processed foods, you are more likely to overeat, which usually leads to unwanted weight gain.
Where You Get Your Calories from Matters
At the end of the day, a calorie is a calorie. You can theoretically eat whatever you want, but Mind Pump usually doesn’t suggest going down this path. The reason is, not all calories are created equal. The calories you eat from a sweet potato will affect your body differently than the calories you eat from a cookie. Yes, calories no matter what will give you energy. But, if you’re mainly eating calories from highly processed foods, you’re more likely to gain excess fat. Instead, we advise sticking to an unprocessed, whole foods diet. Eat foods that make your body feel good and give you the energy to continue living a healthier lifestyle.
Let’s wrap it up…
- Calories give our bodies the energy we need to perform day to day functions.
- Calories have a direct effect on our weight. If we want to lose weight, we must consume less calories than we burn. If we want to gain weight, we must eat more calories than we burn.
- What you eat matters for your overall health and longevity. Get your calories from foods that are nourishing and real. Limit your intake of heavily processed foods.