A calorie is a unit of energy. Some countries use Kcal (kilocalories) while some use Cal(Calories). Now it is important to note that 1kcal =1Cal. Calories describe how much energy your body gets from that food.
What prompted my writing on this is, I have met some people on the weight loss journey and they claim they do not eat certain foods because it has calories. Well, sorry to disappoint you, every food has calories, well except water. Yes even all those sweet drinks that are tagged zero calorie. But seriously, did you fall for that marketing scope?
Our bodies need calories to function optimally. Basic activities like breathing, talking, brain function, it all requires energy. And this energy is gotten from food. Yes, in the form of calories.
Some foods have more calories than some. Take for example, 1 cup of Ugu has about 15calories while 1 cup of plain white cooked rice has about 200calories and 1 cup of roasted groundnuts have approx 850 calories.
You can also find out how many calories are in food by reading the nutritional facts on the pack of the food. Or reading up online. Packages usually state how many grams of protein, carbohydrates and fat are in the food.
1g of Protein has 4 calories
1g of carbohydrates has 4 calories
1g of fat has 9 calories
Now this is where wisdom comes in.
To ensure a healthy lifestyle, you have to know what to eat, when to eat it and how much you should it. A lot of people swear by calorie-counting their foods to ensure there healthy lifestyle. Well, its about whatever works for you. Just make sure you are not eating below the amount your body needs to operate optimally. And calorie-counting is pretty tough with our Nigerian meals. (Refer here for calories in Nigerian foods Here and Here)
That is why I opt for ‘portion control’. This way you get to measure the amount of whatever you eat. Foods higher in calories like fat get limited space on the plate while foods lower in calories like vegetables get a lot of space on the plate. But do not exclude any food group totally from your diet as every food group is essential.
Moderation is always key.