Calories…

So how many calories do we actually need?

It’s a question I’m asked quite often
and
the answer is slightly different for us all.

One thing that is universally beneficial though
is
eating a healthy diet and maintaining
good hydration.

So do we really need to count calories to be healthy?

Well, yes
and
no.

Nutrition and a healthy lifestyle
should be kept as simple as possible
and
to be honest
if we eat a diet full of unprocessed
plant based foods
there will be no need to
‘count’
&
it can actually be really simple
and easy to maintain for
‘life’
Result.

When you first embark on a healthier
way of eating
I think you need to learn about energy needs
and where calories come from.

So to start with
yes,
count calories.

Why?

Well
it’s important to know
what you are currently eating
and identify where you can make changes
to become healthier.

That said…
once you start looking at calories,
please
don’t veer off into the
world of
‘low cal’.
Often that stuff is full of fillers and artificial sweeteners
to make it appear like the ‘real’ thing.

The girls at
Eat & Think used a good example
in one of their blog posts recently.

Low fat yoghurts
eaten as a daily
‘sweet treat’
by some,
are only 100 – odd kcals
but health wise
they’re not great.
How about a nice homemade fresh fruit crumble
once a week instead?
I know, it’s not every day
but hear me out…
It’s
packed full of vitamins and soluble fibre

OK,
I know you’re not sold yet…
but wait

It’s more like 300 kcals
(& therefore immediately tastier!!)
add a bit of creme fraiche
(added calcium)
(added creamy yumminess)
and it’s now more like 400 kcals
but think…
you’ve just saved yourself 300 kcals
and
a weeks
worth of pointless processed desserts!

So yes
start learning about calories,
count how many you eat daily
write it all down even,
so you can see where you get yours from
(you’ll be surprised where some calories are hiding!)

Do you need to
‘count’
forever?
I hear you sigh…

NO.

Every now and then
you may need a
‘re-check’
but generally,
for life,
No.

Why not?

Well as I said earlier,
eat natural foods and there is no label to read or count
and ‘real’ foods tend to have less calories.

Just one little caveat on this though…
Portion size.
We talked about it before,
don’t over do it.
Even a healthy food can be overeaten and
cause weight gain.

Balance is also key.
Nuts, salmon & avocado to mention a few
are great foods, full of goodness
but also calorie dense.
If we are counting calories, we may avoid them.
Don’t.
Want to avoid calorie dense foods?
Then skip the nutrient-less ones containing empty calories
like
cakes,
biscuits, chocolate, crisps.

Still want to know how many calories you need a day?

Let’s start with BMR…
Basal metabolic rate.

These are the calories you burn at rest,
24 hours a day
and they
make up 60-75% of your
total daily calorie expenditure.

Take your weight in kg
and
multiply by 8.7
(men multiply by 11.6)
then
add 829
(men +879)

eg
52kg x 8.7 = 452.4
+ 829 = 1281.4 = BMR

Next we need to add in our activity level.
This is a rough measure of lifestyle activity.
Choose the most suitable one below:

Mostly inactive or sedentary (mainly sitting) 1.2
Fairly active (include walking & exercise 1-2 weekly) 1.3
Moderately active (exercise 2-3 x weekly) 1.4
Active (exercise hard more than 3 x weekly) 1.5
Very Active (exercise hard daily) 1.7

Got one?

Now take the number next to your activity level
and multiply your BMR  by it.

eg
1281.4 x 1.5 = 1922 Kcal
these are your maintenance calorie needs

So a 52kg female who is active more than
3 times a week at a fairly hard intensity
needs roughly
1,922 Kcals to maintain their weight
assuming they have an average body composition.

Now,

if you wanted to lose weight
you would multiply your
maintenance calorie needs
by 0.85

eg 1,922 x 0.85 = 1,633 kcals
for an active woman of 52kg to lose weight
she would need to consume
1,633kcals per day.

Done.

So if you want to,
go do your calculations…
learn a little about your lifestyle habits
but
most importantly
enjoy our food.

Go and have some fun.

Don’t start a diet that has an expiration date
focus on a lifestyle that will last forever 🙂

See you tomorrrow

Melissa

xx
Todays Healthy Menu

2 Mugs of hot water and slices of lemon

Breakfast – Homemade Granola with fresh raspberries and milk

Snack – Handful Raisins

Lunch – Wholegrain Bread with Smoked Salmon, Cottage Cheese, Rocket, Spinach, Baby Plum Tomatoes

Snack – Hot water and lemon handful Grapes

Dinner – Roast Salmon with Peas Potatoes and Bacon served with homegrown fresh Asparagus

8 x 8oz glasses water

Thursdays LISS Workout

60 minute Hill Hike