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Why you aren't losing body fat - understanding calories!

UT Health

This is one of the most common things that we see when it comes to assessing someones nutrition and its not your fault at all, it is an absolute minefield of information out there (some good and some terrible) so how are you supposed to know whats right and whats wrong?

Read further down this blog ;)

Lets go into some basics when it comes to calories.

Calories are basically a unit of energy that is mainly used when it comes to food (calories consumed) or exercise (calories burnt).

Calories are needed for our brain, muscles and all cells in our body to function at an optimal level due to the energy they give to us.

They come from different types of food made up of Protein, Carbs, fats, sugar etc. Everyone of us requires a set amount to be able to live (which is different to each individual) which is known as our Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

This is the amount of calories that we need to live when we are completely resting.

You can work this out through one of the more common ways which is a BMR calculator which can be found online (Have a look at the link below).

But bare in mind they are not always 100% accurate but will give you a fantastic starting point to go from. 

What you do need to look at from here is your activity level! This is actually done on link that is above below your BMR score which is great.

It does take a little bit of a play around with to find out what exactly works for you dependant on your goals.

If you are looking to lose weight, you would want to be in a slight caloric deficit whether you create it by your food or by your calories burnt in exercise is completely up to you.

But make sure that you monitor it as much as possible so that you can adapt and progress.

A lot of people believe they know how many calories they are having per day or how many calories are in certain foods they consume, generally they aren’t too far off the tracks with these guesstimates.

But we find when we sit them down is that its the calories that they don’t realise they are consuming which is the danger.

A lot of the trouble is when it comes to different types of coffees, alcoholic drinks, condiments etc things that people consume everyday but they also don’t realise the number of calories in them.

These are examples below showing you the varying calorie amounts of each coffee:

Coffee calories with skim or no milk, per serving:

Espresso: 1 calorie
Long Black: 3 calories
Piccolo Latte: 26 calories
Cappuccino: 68 calories
Flat White: 68 calories
Chai Latte: 127 calories
Mocha: 164 calories


Coffee calories with full-cream milk, per serve:

Espresso: 1 calorie
Long Black: 3 calories
Piccolo Latte:46 calories
Cappuccino: 134 calories
Flat White: 155 calories
Chai Latte: 224 calories
Mocha: 394 calories

So the key take ways from this is to know what your calorie intake should be relative to your goals (don’t just go really low calories if you want to lose body fat!), know what calories are in the food you are consuming and drinks aren’t always low calorie ;)