Things to know about calories

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Ah, calories. The dreaded C-word. This is the word so many of us loathe, and the thing that can really be a buzz kill on a dinner out with friends. These days so many of us find ourselves watching the calories, and keeping an eye on what we put in our mouths. This is important to do, but we also have to make sure that we don’t go overboard with it.

Becoming too obsessive about calories and about what we eat is not a good thing. There are so many different ways of looking at calories, and trying to get a good balance of what you’re putting in your body is important. So, the best thing to do is to try to know and understand calories before making judgments and decisions. Here are five things we feel you need to know about calories going forward.

They can be inaccurate!

Believe it or not, you shouldn’t listen to everything you read about calories. You might want to sit down for this revelation – calorie counts on labels are allowed to be up to 20% inaccurate. And the FDA actually approves this! That means that for something you eat that reads 150 calories, you could well actually be consuming about 200 calories instead. This means that the only way to be absolutely certain is to make sure you make all of your meals from scratch. Now you’ll exercise a little more caution when you decide to reach for that chocolate bar in the future.

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Zero isn’t really zero

It might surprize you to know that zero-calorie doesn’t always exactly mean zero-calorie. We know now that you can’t always trust the information on a nutrition label one hundred percent, and this is something that you should consider in the future. Food that is classed as being zero-calories can actually contain up to 4 calories per serving. So, make sure you don’t go crazy with something, thinking it actually contains zero calories. Products that contain less than 5 calories per serving are allowed to be classed as “calorie-free.”

Doing nothing can burn calories

Hey, it’s not all doom and gloom – this one is a positive thing! Did you know that you can actually burn calories off by doing nothing? Well, it’s absolutely true. The body uses energy to perform everyday functions. So, even sitting at your desk, or lying down can actually help you to burn calories and contribute toward weight loss. And, while we don’t recommend it as a substitute for actual exercise, it is an important step in the process of burning calories.

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Too few calories can stop you losing weight

Many people make the mistake of stopping eating in order to lose weight, but, this can actually be counterproductive. In many cases, having too few calories can actually result in you failing to lose weight! Reducing your calorie intake by too much leads to all kinds of problems, so, you need to make sure you are careful and measured about the food you’re consuming. It’s thought that under 1,200 calories a day is not good for you, do make sure you’re hitting this threshold.

The gym can be wrong

You know those machines at the gym when you work out? The ones that tell you how many calories you’ve burned. Well, these are not actually as accurate as you might think. Things like treadmills and exercise bikes can display incorrect calorie-counts by as much as 20%. Of course, you should definitely make sure you keep up with the exercising, and that you use the machines fully, just don’t overly rely on their readings.

As you can see, there are plenty of things about calories you didn’t know before, and neither did we. These are crucial in the way we approach calories and eating, in the future. Just make sure you are well-versed in everything to do with calories, and that you don’t rely too much on the information you get at face value.

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