Calories aren’t scary! So what are they?

IMG_0461Fear of calories is a common fear that many people don’t talk about. Especially with the common misconception that in order to lose weight you should eat as few calories as you can. This simply isn’t true. Calories are energy and your body needs energy to function. Your body needs calories, even when you’re trying to lose weight.

As a society, we’ve been taught that calories are bad and should be avoided, so retraining our brain to think that calories are necessary is a foreign concept.

Calories aren’t scary, but you need to be aware of where you get them. Make sure the majority of your calories come from foods that provide nutrients (proteins, fruits, vegetables, complex carbs), not from sources of hidden sugar, high sodium, high saturated fat, etc. Choosing sources of calories that provide nutrients will make you feel better by nourishing your body, help you lose weight and it will help curb your cravings.

When you drastically cut back on calories, you put your body in starvation mode causing it to hold on to the few calories you give it because your body doesn’t know when it will get energy again. Putting your body in starvation mode can cause major metabolic damage which can take 6-12 months to recover.

So how many calories do you need? Even if you lay in bed and don’t move all day, you need 1,200 calories. Most sedentary people need at least 1,500 calories, and active people easily need 2,000+.  Of course this is a general guideline because the actual amount of calories depends on your gender, weight, activity level (which can vary from day to day. You may need 2,000 calories one day but 1,500 the net day), among other factors.

Again, make sure the majority of your meals consist of complex carbs, proteins, fruits and vegetables to make the most out of your calories. If your 2,000 calories come from a breakfast bar at breakfast, a mid-morning soda, a sandwich and chips at lunch, a cookie for a mid-day snack and a hamburger and fries for dinner, you’re not giving your body adequate nutrition for its needs. A 1,500 calorie day should look something like this:

Breakfast: Omelet with peppers and coconut oil

AM Snack: Almond butter and apple

Lunch: Turkey wrap with 1/2 cup of avocado and 1 cup of broccoli

Dinner: Steak and Spinach Salad with extra virgin olive oil dressing

 

If you’re constantly battling fear of calories leading to weight gain, please email me at KristenRunsBlog@gmail.com. I truly want to help you overcome your fear of calories! I use to believe the same way and now it’s my joy to help others! You’re the reason why I love my job!

 

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