Me and Shrilekha have been working out and following our food regime since last 10 years. We both were obese throughout our childhood and when we grew up and started being on various diets, we lost a lot of weight but were under nourished. It is through that undernourishment that we had to suffer through issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Thyroid Malfunction. We learnt a big lesson, that weight loss does not mean undernourishment. It means better nutrition. So here we are sharing some important snippets of these important lessons. Understanding some aspects would help you keep things in perspective regarding weight loss or even maintenance.

What Are Calories?

Calories are a unit of energy. They are nothing but the energy which people get from the food and energy they consume throughout the day, which is used as a fuel for physical activity. The nutrition world always talks about calories consumed by a person.

Weight loss, Maintenance or Weight gain

Whether you got to maintain your weight, whether you want to lose, or you want to gain, it all depends upon your calorie consumption. But is it possible to check calories of each food item that we eat? And is it not too much? The answer is yes, we can check calories of everything that we eat, and we can log it too. Nothing is too much if you want to achieve optimum health. As you keep logging in your food intake in food diary (online or hard copy) you will come to know how much you need everyday and whether you are overeating or under eating on a day.

How to Calculate Calories Required?

Before monitoring calories, we need to identify how many calories we need per day. The calorie calculator is based on many equations like the following:

For men:        BMR = 13.397W + 4.799H – 5.677A + 88.362

For women:    BMR = 9.247W + 3.098H – 4.330A + 447.593

BMR means Basal Metabolic Rate: If you add values to the above equation you can arrive at a value which is the number of calories your body would need even when you are at rest. (You can also identify your BMR using body composition monitor in any of the gyms)

For example, if my BMR is 2039 calories a day the my maintenance calories at 2000 calories per day. I can lose weight at a slow pace at 1700 calories per day, at 1300 calories per day I can lose weight at a pace of 0.5 kg per week approximately.

It is said that to lose weight effectively, one should have a calorie deficit of 500 calories.

How to Monitor Calorie Intake?

This is the easiest part and very rewarding. My favorite apps for monitoring my food intake is my fitness pal. It is easy to operate and tracks your daily weight if you are monitoring on daily basis. It has all Indian food listed so that you can quickly add it to your diary.

I haven’t used any other app. But you can also check out other apps available. Apart from that just to check out your calorie consumption on fitness bands like fitbit, Apple watch, MI bands and so on.

Keeping 500 calories deficit is the mantra for weight loss. You can also keep it under maintenance by watching what you are eating.

If you have questions kindly comment below.