What Are Calories?

March 26, 2015 in Health by The Get Fit Mom

Everyone has heard some talk in their life about calories. Watch your calories. Limit your calories. Don’t consume this percentage of calories. But the biggest thing most people wonder is What Are Calories? Read on for more information on what are calories and how they can help you lose weight.

Calories

No. They are not little creatures, but on some days it might feel like they are in your closet making everything you own two sizes too small.

Calories Are a Unit of Measure

Calories are a unit of measure, similar to measuring ounces or inches. A calorie measures the amount of energy that you get from a food or beverage. In order to sustain energy and keep going throughout the day, you need to consume calories so that you can fuel your body.

I am sure that many parents have given this analogy to their children: Your body is like a car. It will only be able to run for so long until you need to get more gas (food). If you don’t get gas, then your car (body) is going to eventually stall (lose energy).

If you haven’t used that analogy with your kids, I urge you to. It’s the simplest way to explain to a child why eating is so important. Especially during those fussy-food toddler years.

How Are Calories Calculated?

Calories (cal) are calculated based on the amount of energy is needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram or 1000 grams of water by one degree (Celsius). So when you see 4 calories, it is equivalent to 4000 grams or 4 kilocalories (kcal). Since this is the basic unit of measuring calories, without getting scientific, I’ll stick with this basic info for now.

To figure the correct amount of calories that you need to consume each day visit: Calculator.net.

Calories and How They Affect Your Weight

Since calories are the units of energy you need to keep your body moving, it’s essential to know what your daily calorie intake should be.

  • Maintaining weight — Your weight will stay the same when the calories you eat and drink equal the calories you burn.
  • Losing weight — You will lose weight when the calories you eat and drink are less than the calories you burn.
  • Gaining weight — You will gain weight when the calories you eat and drink are greater than the calories you burn.
Weight Management on ChooseMyPlate.gov

RELATED: THE SALAD CHALLENGE

How To Choose the Right Calories

Choosing what to eat is not a difficult task. Most times adults are in a rush and choose something that leftover in the fridge, an apple sitting in the fruit bowl, and a can of soda. Or in desperate times, we run to a fast food joint, where we know the calorie intake for a small burger, is enough for three days.

When choosing foods, the most accurate advice that can be recommended is to be mindful!

Choosing foods that are high in calorie with no nutritional value will cause you to gain unnecessary weight, as well as not contributing to your daily vitamin and mineral values. When looking for foods that will maximize your calorie intake look for the following: low-fat (as opposed to non-fat), whole grain or whole wheat, good fiber source, and ultimately something that is low in calories in general.

yogurt cals

Empty Calories

Empty Calories are foods and beverages that may be high in calories, but provide little or no nutritional value. The classic example is soda. Regular soda can be loaded with calories, but when you read the back of the can there is no nutritional value that this item can bring to your day. It’s not to say that I don’t love a glass of ice cold cola, but I am very wary about how much and how often I drink it.

Another example is the obvious candy bar. Yum! A Snickers bar sounds great right about now, but when I think of the calories, fat, and lack of protein and fiber in this food, I’d prefer to pass right over it.

So chose foods that can contribute to your diet in a positive way for your day and your health.

The Rules

There really isn’t any rules when it comes to calories because everyone’s caloric intake and need is different. In general I always advise my nutritional clients the following:

  • If it doesn’t have a label, eat as much as you want! — These foods are usually going to be fruits and vegetables. Although they may be higher in sugars than other foods the calories are lower and the fat is much, much lower.  I mean think about the last time you saw a nutritional label on an apple. Does that even exist? PS: Send me a picture if you do!
  • Eat bright! — The best foods to eat are those that are bright in color. Yellow, orange, red, and purple are excellent choices. These vegetables or fruits are loaded with vitamins and minerals.
  • Eat with a purpose— Before you take a bite out of something, stop for one minute and assess how well the calorie to nutrient value is. At the end of the day, will you regret it?

How do you manage your calories on a daily basis?

 

 

 

 

Life Happens

February 26, 2015 in Family, Randomness by The Get Fit Mom

I have talked many times about how life happens. How kids get sick, work gets busy, or relationships fall apart. Recently, I wrote about how my current relationship had ended, another one had begun and ended just as fast as it had begun. In the whole mess of things, I seem to have lost the interest to blog. I had become super busy with a new job, a new lifestyle, a new way of living. Blogging had just taken a back seat to everything else that was going on.

RELATED: Blogging is Not Getting Easier, So Why Do I Keep Doing It?

Did I miss it? Absolutely! Blogging is something that I am proud of. I love telling people that I am a writer. Although not published (in a paper format), I am still a writer. Blogging is a way that I get to express my family, my passions, and other things that cross my path that interest me.

Am I sorry? No. Not really. As I’ve said before, life happens. I had some major life changes that were going on. I regained parts of myself that I felt I had lost. And I’ve gotten the chance to re-evaluate what and where I want to be in my life. I can’t be sorry about a time in my life that has allowed me to grow as a person.

C’mon. You’re not sorry a little?? Ok, Yes I am. I’m pretty sure that I have lost a bit of my following and will have to start over again, at least for a few months.

So what happened to you surgeryAh yes. The cherry on my hot fudge sundae. Well, I never got it. Why, you ask? My primary care physician did not feel that the testing I underwent (and we all know the testing I underwent was far from minor), was not good enough. She wanted me to get additional confirmation that my test results were normal and even wanted me to get some of the tests over again. Uh?! Yea! OK! In the interim of everything, I had found out that I’ve lost nearly 30 pounds since July. At that point I simply thought that “If I’ve gone this far in losing weight without the surgery, then why even bother”. In the past, I have been unable to lose weight, but somehow I had lost weight. So I am putting the pedal to the metal and pushing fast forward to trying to lose weight on my own.

I am also a firm believer in the quote Everything Happens For A Reason.

So with that being said, I can tell you that everything that I have gone through has happened for a reason. There is a piece of me that is grateful for the change, and then some more change.

And Since Life Happens…

The Get Fit Dad and I are on a road to recovery in our relationship. It might be a long, bumpy, winding road, but it is one that we are going to navigate together and attempt at smoothly pave over. I’ve learned that we don’t get to chose who we fall in love with, is a true statement.

Getting a new job can be more exciting than being a SAHM! I love being home with The Get Fit Baby and The Get Fit Big Guy, but going to work everyday is very gratifying. I enjoy meeting new people and encountering new situations and challenges each day. I love having goals set for me that I need to meet.

I’ve realized that I can be just as in charge of my life as I was 7, 8, 9 years ago. It might be a little different, but I think that I can handle it.

And now one of my favorite Billy Joel songs. Because I haven’t blogged in the longest time.

Permanent Changes in My Life

January 9, 2015 in Family by The Get Fit Mom

It’s amazing how suddenly your life can change and how permanent changes can be in your life. December brought about a lot of changes for me. Most of which I never thought would ever happen; yet knew in my heart they needed to.

A Permanent Change from Five Years

The Get Fit Dad and I ended our five year relationship. At first it was mutual, and we were able to co-habitat on a friendly basis. Then something changed and an emotion of some sort began setting in for one of us. Mutually agreeing on seeing other people was a good idea. We were able to expand our social networks, and see if we were really meant to be with one another.

broken engagement

An Amazing Man

I had met an amazing man that literally changed my life for the better. He gave me everything that I wasn’t getting in my current relationship. He took the time to get to know me at my worst, and was accepting of how bad my situation was for myself and my kids. He motivated me to make the changes in my life that I needed to make to re-introduce happiness in my life. He complimented every aspect of my being, from my physical appearance to my mind. That too, was something that was missing in my life for a few years.

broken engagements 1

The confidence that this man gave to me, was exactly what I needed to get myself back on my feet. I started feeling better about myself again, even joining the gym. I started wearing makeup more often. I was even more persistent in my pursuit of a job, which I landed.

A Permanent Change to the Holidays

As the holidays rolled around, things started getting tougher with The Get Fit Dad and I, as well as with the New Man. My life became more complex, and although I was given all the tools back to be independent, successful, and happy, I was still yearning for the closeness of the relationships with these two men. The New Man has started pulling back a bit and distancing himself, which is great for me because I can really focus on getting my life on track, however is a bit sad because I really cared about him on a friendship level and never wanted to lose that closeness I had with him.

It’s now January and nothing has changed The Get Fit Dad is not in my life anymore, and the New Man is still rather distant but we talk just about every day. He’s working on his own private life, and giving me the space I need to work on mine.

In the meantime…

A lot of heartache has ensued.

A lot of thinking has been done.

A lot of soul searching has been sought after.

I haven’t gotten answers to my quest for happiness, but I have come to terms that happiness starts with you.