The food items that we consume every day contain the energy and nutrients that help us live and function well. This energy provided by food is measured in Calories. Calories can be of two types: Good calories and Bad calories.
These terms are especially important for fitness enthusiasts who are trying to lose weight. Let’s delve deeper into this. We’ll give you a run-down of differentiating between good and bad calories and how to better manage your calorie intake.
What is the Importance of Calorie Count?
The amount and type of calories you eat in a day determine your bodyweight. When the calorie intake matches the calories you burn, it is called caloric balance. However, in order to lose weight, you need to consume less number of calories than you burn or alternatively burn more calories than you consume. This gives rise to what is called being in caloric deficit. Following a calorie deficit regime will have you burning through your reserves of fat and thereby losing body mass.
In the same way, eating more calories than you can burn, also known as caloric excess, can cause weight gain. This is because the body stores the excess calories, which in controlled amounts can help you gain some much-needed weight and without any discretion can be your road to obesity.
Caloric excess, however, is necessary during the growth years and the focus should be on consuming good calories during this period.
Monitoring your calories by counting the calories you consume in a day is a good habit that need to be cultivated. This will help you become more calorie conscious and be mindful of the foods & beverages that you consume.
Good Calorie vs. Bad Calories
Coming to the quality of calories, you only lose weight when you consciously eat good calories in the right amount. The nutrient level in the good and bad calories makes all the difference.
What are Good Calories?
Good calories are packed with nutrients like lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. They that don’t add to your calorie count too much, provided you eat a balanced diet.
This diet usually means having unprocessed foods in the purest form. Consuming good calories refers to “clean eating” as they do not have excess salt, oil(fried food), or processed sugar that is present in items like takeout food.
Also note that not all good calorie foods are low in calories. There are clean, high-energy foods which are high in calories and can supplement larger caloric requirements.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise but consuming too much good-calorie food can also lead to weight gain! Portion control is the key here.
What are Bad Calories?
Foods with bad calories have low nutrient content and may have an adverse effect on your health. It includes foods high in saturated fats, unhealthy fats, processed foods, refined foods, sugar, etc. They are suitable only for occasional consumption. Bad calorie food also negatively affects your body’s hormones that regulate your weight, metabolism, hunger, and mood. They are unhealthy and make you feel hungry, paving a way for untimely cravings. This might lead you to overeat and gain excess weight.
For instance, consuming chicken with quinoa on the side and a glass of natural fruit juice with no added sugar versus a burger and a sugary drink. They may have the same number of calories, but it is the type of calories that matters.
The first one is a good calorie combination of proteins, fibre, and antioxidants which nourishes your body and provides the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. The second bad calorie combination of processed food high in fat and sugar will not be as filling. You will quickly become hungry, wanting to consume more calories, which will derail your weight loss efforts.
Overall, replacing bad calories with good calories will help you lose weight or better manage it.
Also, substituting a bad calorie food item for a good high-calorie food will make you feel more energetic.
How to Manage Weight with a Plant-based diet?
Over the years, multiple studies have proved that a plant-based diet help in reducing body weight and has multiple health benefits. As per studies, this happens mainly due to the “increased intake of fibre, polyunsaturated fats and plant proteins, including a reduced intake of energy, saturated fats, and animal proteins.”
A whole-food, plant-based diet contains foods with low-calorie density. Calorie density is the measure of calories per pound of a given food. These foods are highly nutrient-rich and include fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, etc. This diet also boosts your body’s metabolism to accelerate the fat-burning process helping you shed those extra pounds.
High-calorie, plant-based foods like quinoa, avocado, dried fruit, tahini, etc., may help you gain healthy weight without harming your overall health.
Although it is okay to indulge in having processed foods once in a while, but you should know better than making it a habit. Make healthier choices, count your calories and swap foods with bad calories with a good calorie plant-based diet to maintain your weight and overall health.
Consuming good calories and managing calorie intake can help you achieve your fitness goals as and when you need them. A plant-based diet is an ideal food option for you in this scenario. Combine it with appropriate workouts or yoga to help you reach your goals faster in realistic timelines.
The priority, in this blog, is to supply the reader with clear and unambiguous information. However, neither The New Me nor Gagan Dhawan makes promises, or guarantees regarding the completeness of the information found here. The content is not a replacement for advice of a licensed professional. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely that of the writer’s.