Calories and Weight Loss
Calories in food are derived from protein, fat and carbohydrate. Alcohol also provides calories. Vitamins, minerals and water provide no calories.
Calorie Values Per Gram:
Fat/Oils = 9 Calories
Carbohydrate = 4 Calories
Protein = 4 Calories
Alcohol = 7 Calories
Note – fats have over double the calories of protein and carbs. The higher the fat content of food, the higher the calories.
Quarter Pounder with Cheese has 510 calories derived from:
26g Fat (x9 cal/gram) = 234
40 g Carbs (x4 cal/gram) = 160
29g Protein (x4 cal/gram) = 116
Total Calories = 510
Calories Levels for Weight Loss
Start with a calorie-controlled diet that allows a moderate weight loss of ½ – 1 pound per week. Weight loss is usually much greater in the first few weeks due to extra fluid losses. (Note: It is better to increase exercise rather than lessen food calories too drastically.)
Portion Size Counts!
Food portion size is critical to controlling calorie intake for weight control. Super-sized food servings have become more common when eating out and in the home. This can mean a day’s worth of calories being consumed in one meal; or a snack being equivalent to a full meal. It is easy to underestimate portion size of foods and drinks and consume extra calories – even of the fat content is low or even zero. To more accurately estimate portion size of different foods, weigh and measure your food with food scales, measuring spoons and cups. Better control of calories will result.
Caution! Extra Calories in Packaged Food
Allow for extra calories in packaged food. The actual weight of packaged foods is usually 5 – 10% more than the label net weight (the minimum legal weight) – and in some cases up to 50% more. However, manufactures calculate the calories based on the net weight. For actual calories, weigh the product and calculate the extra calories.