You probably already know that weight loss and maintenance depend on the number of calories you take in versus the number of calories out.
However, there are several aspects which determine how your calorie counting actually affects your weight.
Here are five interesting things you probably
never knew about calories
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1. The FDA Allows the Calorie Counts on Labels to be Incorrect by up to 20%
In fact, the FDA officially permits that nutrition facts on packaged foods can be up to 20% inaccurate.
For instance, a certain packaged food with 250 calories could actually have up to 300 calories.
There is no way to be sure about the number of calories unless you made your own food at home from scratch, which is not possible for most of us.
Or you can take a deep breath and trust your instincts, as well as be wise about choosing what you eat.
If you’re doubtful because the label’s content seems too good to be true, you can weigh a portion and see if it matches what’s indicated on the nutrition information.
2. “Zero-Calorie” Foods Can Legally Contain up to 4 Calorie per Serving
Any product that has less than 5 calories per serving is allowed to be labeled as a “zero-calorie” food, according to the FDA.
It may not seem like a big deal but the statistics can quickly add up if the listed serving size is too small or if you eat so much of a specific product.
This means that whenever you’re using a no-calorie butter spray, a nonstick cooking spray, a sweetener, or any other zero-calorie product, you should be very careful about how much you’re using.
3. You Can Burn Calories while Doing Nothing
You don’t only burn calories when you’re heavily exercising, you also burn calories while lying on the couch or sitting at your desk.
In fact, the human body needs to use energy in order to properly perform daily functions, such as breathing and digesting.
How much calories you burn while doing nothing is known as basal metabolic rate or resting calorie rate. You can even use an online calculator to estimate your resting calorie rate. Try this one http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/
4. Minimizing Your Calorie Intake Can Make You Stop Losing Weight
Sure, reducing your calorie intake while burning more calories will make you lose weight, however, you should never lower the number so rapidly or take in too few calories.
Reducing your calorie intake to the minimum (which is too much) can cause your body to turn to a starvation mode, meaning that your metabolism will slow down because your body is saving energy by storing fat.
This can totally block your weight loss process and lead to long-term illnesses.
Ideally, you should neither consume too many calories nor too few calories. Most professionals recommend to never eat less than 1,200 a day.
5. The Calorie-Burn Counts on Gym Machines can be Incorrect by 20%
Shocking, but true.
Gym machine, including elliptical, stair-climber, treadmill, and other ones, usually have built-in calorie counters, however, they’re not accurate on the number of calories you’re truly burning while exercising.
As stated in a study from the Human Performance Center at the University of San Francisco, exercise machines in the gym often overestimate calorie burn by 20% on average, while elliptical machines particularly overestimated calorie burn by 42% or more.
Using exercise machines is really helpful in burning calories, you just don’t have to rely too much on the numbers you see on them.
Also, don’t use this as an excuse not to exercise.