Understanding Calories
Diet-to-Go Blog
  1. Understanding Calories


    Calories are fuel that gives you the energy to do the things you want to do. It is best that your calories come from nutrient- and fiber- rich sources so that you feel satisfied and full. Nutrient-rich foods also fight disease and maintain proper organ function. However, you can maintain a healthy weight by eating any food as long as you stay within your personal calorie budget.

    Diet-to-Go provides a balanced combination of nutrient-rich fruits and veggies as well as portion controlled comfort foods. We do the calorie counting for you, but it is still important to know your budget in case you want to add additional snacks and beverages.

    Know your Budget

    Weight-loss and weight-gain are both calorie-in, calorie-out equations. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) generally puts the average adult’s calorie budget at 2,000 calories. While that's the official guideline, your actual calorie needs vary, depending on a variety of factors. A calorie calculator will take into consideration your gender, height, weight, age, goals and activity level and give you a specific number for how many calories you should consume each day.

    If you have a sedentary lifestyle, working at a desk eight hours a day and going home for an evening of television watching, you might not burn 2,000 calories. If you have an active lifestyle, you might burn more. If you have weight-loss or weight-gain goals it is important to know your specific calorie budget.

    The Diet-to-Go calorie calculator can help you find your calorie budget. Calorie calculators help you to determine how many calories you can have each day to maintain your weight, lose or gain one or two pounds per week. Once you have the specific number of calories you need to reach your weight goal, you can decide what you will eat (or give up) to reach that goal.

    Calorie Awareness

    Changing eating habits is never easy. For some, food is more than just fuel for the body; it’s comforting and reliable. Diet-to-Go provides you with delicious, portion- and calorie- controlled meals that are ready to eat when you are but, if you have additional room in your budget, you may want to have snacks. That is where calorie awareness comes in. You will want to know how many calories are in the snacks and drinks you chose.

    Meal trackers can really help you to understand how many calories are in your favorite foods and how you can portion them and still reach your weight goal. Your diet doesn't have to be rigid. If you eat a larger lunch one day, think about eating a smaller meal at dinner. All of your Diet-to-Go meals can be easily found and logged in your myDiettogo meal tracker. To add other foods, use general search terms. For fruit and veggies use singular search terms (ie. Strawberry not strawberries) and enter the quantity consumed.

    Meal tracking is a really good habit to be in even after you reach your ideal weight. You may be surprised to find that your favorite small fries at Wendy’s have 310 calories (and that’s without ketchup)! Getting in the habit of tracking will help to identify calorie bombs so that you can avoid them in the future.

    Bang for Your Calorie Buck

    There is a common misconception that healthy eating is expensive. Consider this:

    • Unprocessed fruits and veggies are less expensive than packaged foods
    • Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are generally low in calories (so you can eat more) and have more fiber which keeps you satisfied longer
    • By eating nutrient-rich foods you reduce your risk of acquiring diet-related illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and even cancer, which can cost you money in the long run. 

     

    Author: Kristen Ciuba
    Kristen is a Nutritionist at Diet-to-Go, based in Lorton, VA. She tries to “practice what she preaches” by fitting in healthy foods and cooking, challenging exercise, and quality time with family and friends every day!  




     

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