The dictionary defines a calorie as a unit of heat energy. It is also defined as a unit of energy-producing potential equal to the amount of heat that is contained in food and released upon oxidation by the body. When making the distinction between a chemistry calorie and a food calorie, we must clarify the difference in quantity. The food calorie is equal to 1000 chemistry calories.
Now that we have addressed the mathematical and chemical analogy of calorie, let’s look at what the calorie means to you, a food consumer. A calorie is a way we measure the energy potential of food. It is also the way we determine if we are overeating and consuming too much potential energy for our bodily functions. If we consume too much energy, our body stores it for future use. This makes us become obese. If we don’t consume enough for our daily use, we can become anorexic.
In order to maintain optimal health, and our optimal body weight, a calorie requirement that is specific to our unique needs must be obtained. Once we are aware of what our calorie needs are we can tailor our diet to fit those needs.
One of the most difficult situations to overcome is that of the need to diet. Once we have determined our calorie requirements, if we also need to diet and lose body weight, we are faced with cutting our calorie intake. Having been slightly overweight most of my adult life, I can tell you this is a difficult struggle. Combining the need for fewer calories, and the increased need for exercise is often a daunting task for an individual. It is also a very difficult one to maintain.
There are products on the market today that make calorie counting easier than ever, and there are diet plans that make a substitution of diet foods easier than ever. What they have not invented is a way to boost willpower, which would make the struggle easier than ever. Those products are worn on some part of the body and tabulate for us what our calorie expenditure is during the day. What we need is to take this one step further, and have an instrument that can also calculate our calorie intake and leave us with our available consumption balance. If you overeat, there could be a warning sound from the calorie counter. If the sound is quite embarrassing, you wouldn’t have to worry about overeaters!
The road to good health is not an easy one for most. It should be one of the easiest things we have to do since good health is something we should have spent a lifetime incorporating into our daily routine. But what we find most of the time, is that we make very little time for our health, and even less time for our understanding of the calorie and its effect on our body. When we do take notice of the bulge around the waist, we want the quick fix for the problem, diet and exercise are to difficult and take too long. But they are the only alternatives that work.
So as you go about your day, think about the calorie. Think about what it means to your waistline and your health. Proper understanding, consumption levels, and a maintenance plan make for a healthy, high-quality life.