Counting Calories?

Counting calories can be a difficult but necessary feat when it comes to health, wellness and weight management. We all understand what types of food are high in calories, but what is a calorie? Why do we have to watch calories to lose weight? The picture above is the perfect way to understand calories. Choose many lower calorie foods in order meet your nutritional needs. Why eat a small portion of butter when you can have a whole plate full of apples! J

A calorie is referred to most often in reference to food. A calorie is actually a unit of energy. Our bodies need energy! Our bodies need calories! Sometimes we take in too much energy and expend too little energy (weight gain) – or we do not take in enough energy and become tired and fatigued (weight loss). Our bodies burn calories through processes requiring enzymes to break down different components of food we consume (thermic effect of food), exercise, and our basal metabolic rate (calories burned at rest).

The amount of calories you consume each day is dependent upon your basal metabolic rate, level of exercise activity engaged in, and how frequently you eat within the day! You actually need to eat more calories if you are more active in your lifestyle. As a general rule of thumb, the minimum amount of calories one should consume each day is based on gender (male = 1800 calories, female = 1200 calories). Consuming less than your recommended calories can be harmful to your health, so always error on the side of eating more than the minimum but exercising more!

The holidays are common times to consume too many calories! Here is a list of common holiday foods and the amount of calories they contain. Many foods have more calories than you might think!

Common Holiday Foods

Calories in Food

Average Holiday Cookie (1 each)

100-230 Calories

Pumpkin Roll (1 Slice)

230 Calories

Eggnog (1 cup)

225 Calories

Candy Cane (1 each)

65 Calories

Puppy Chow (1/4 cup)

92 Calories


It is a great thing to track your calories, especially over the holidays. If you are unsure of your recommended calorie range for your goals– it is important to meet with a Registered Dietitian to get a personalized nutrition plan! We offer FREE nutritional consultations with our RD at Fitness Together!

Call us today at (330) 702-1311, or visit our website at


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Posted by on December 17, 2012. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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