Calories - More than just numbers

Calories – More than just numbers

What are calories?

Calories aren’t just a random number someone has plucked out the air, instead, they relate to the amount of energy a given weight of food will provide your body. Energy-dense foods contain large numbers of calories for a relatively small portion, meaning these are the foods to avoid when dieting. They will leave you still feeling hungry while eating up a large percentage of your daily calories.

How many calories can I have daily?

Generally, the recommended daily calorie intake is 2000 calories for women and 2500 for men. Calorie intake varies person to person depending on age, metabolism and levels of physical activity among other things. Eating less calories than the your daily metabolic rate will lead to weight loss.

Healthy weight loss is classed as a loss of 1-2 lbs (0.5-1kg) per week. In order to achieve this a calorie deficit of 500 to 600 is needed daily, meaning you eat around 500 to 600 calories fewer than you burn daily.

What affects calories?

  • Age

Growing children and teenagers may need more energy

  • Lifestyle

How active you are throughout the day

  • Size

Height and weight both play a part

  • Hormones

Chemical produced in the body has an impact of the energy needed by the body

  • Medicines

Certain drugs can increase or decrease the number of calories burnt

  • Illness

Being unwell can increase your metabolic rate