Do you count vegetables as calories? Having been in the industry of macro counting and flexible dieting for quite a while, I can’t even count the number of times this question comes up. It’s a great question. However answering this is complicated. I usually get back to them by asking - Did you eat them?
Because if yes, then the answer is simply yes. Anything you eat should count on your daily macro diet plan.
Remember, if we consume just the number of calories our body needs each day, every day, we will maintain our weight. If our calorie consumption is too low we lose weight, too high and we will typically gain weight. That being said, let's talk about 2 types of calories.
First one is:
Regular Calories are calories from random types of food. Just because two foods have an equal amount of calories doesn’t mean they are equally healthy.
Fat has more than twice as many calories per gram as carbohydrates and proteins. A gram of fat has about 9 calories, while a gram of carbohydrate or protein has about 4 calories. You could eat twice as much carbohydrates or proteins as fat for the same amount of calories.
The next one is Fiber Calories
Dietary fibers are complex carbohydrates, so some people estimate that they provide 4 calories per gram just like any other carbohydrate. However, others say that calories from fiber don’t count since your body’s digestive enzymes can’t break down fiber. Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that can’t be digested by the body. Instead it passes through the entire digestive system and is excreted from your body relatively unchanged.
There is one type of dietary fiber or fermentable fiber that is fermented by “good” bacteria living in the colon. The product of this fermentation is short-chain fatty acids and gases. Short chain fatty acids are then absorbed and used to produce energy. It is estimated that on average 70% of fiber in foods are fermentable, but this may vary since some foods may have different ratios.
Whether you choose to count fiber calories or not, the one thing you have to do is keep it consistent across the board so you don’t change out too many variables.
Some of the healthiest high fiber food include:
Ultimately, the most important part of every single weight loss diet is creating a caloric deficit.
Thus calorie-counting will greatly help you track your dietary habits and reach weight-loss goals. A caloric deficit happens when you consume fewer calories than your body burns or burn more calories more than you consume.
When you do this, your body is in a state of negative energy balance. Where it doesn’t have the calories it needs to perform all of the daily tasks. For your body to do these daily tasks, it is forced to burn your own stored body fat for energy. As a result- YOU LOSE WEIGHT.
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