The Confusing Business Of Calories

Hi friends, happy Friday! How are you all?

At my end, it has been pretty hectic lately. No helps still and the house is full of never-ending chores. Everyone in the family (two elders, one Other Half, two little ones and one dog…they all do their bits to help out but at the end of the day, the lady of the house gets the lion’s share of…err, chores, isn’t it?

Anyways, all this keeps me on my toes whole day (now night also, thanks to the latest addition of Kia, the pup. At 5 months, she is now tall enough to pull my hair while I am dreaming at night). I am sure your story is quite similar to mine and a big hug to all of us brave hearts!!

Amidst all the chaos, have you continued your fitness routine or diet plans? Or started any? Tell me if you have!

It does get all very confusing at the end of the day, isn’t it? Especially the term calories! Calories…low calories…zero calories…empty calories…high calorie food…calorie-dense food etc. What are these calories after all? Almost a scary word today especially for weight watchers. Let’s decode calories today!

What Are Calories?

Calories in simple terms, is energy that we need for day to day functioning.

Technically, ‘calorie’ word is the unit of energy that we get from a certain food item. This is how we measure energy. All food items provide us energy – be it sugars, fats, proteins or carbs. The amount of energy or calories each food provides varies. Every single cell in our body needs this energy.

Depending upon the goals and lifestyle, the daily calorie requirement ranges from 1600-2400 calories for adult females and for adult males, 2000-3000. However, men shouldn’t eat less than 1500 calories and women not less than 1200 calories per day – to get all the energy and nutrients required by the body for optimal day-to-day functioning.

Empty Calories

Empty calories come from food which would give us energy for sure but without any significant nutrients. Such foods are what we call as junk food also. Interestingly, one can lose weight on empty calories too, whether it would be healthy or not, is anybody’s guess. A few examples are pizzas, burgers and sugary foods/drinks.

Zero Calories or Low Calories

Products having zero calories such as diet foods and drinks are not necessarily any healthier, if you ask me. Replacing a good balanced meal with a low calorie meal-replacement bar/shake is not a great idea in long run! It just is not sustainable and can easily backfire unless accompanied by a healthy lifestyle change.

High Calories/Calorie Dense Foods  

This include foods that are high on calories in a relatively smaller portion such as butter or sugary sweets. Interestingly, some very healthy foods are very high in calories as well e.g. quinoa (yes, the superfood quinoa), avocados, dried fruits, olive oil etc

Similarly, low calorie foods have low amount of calories relative to the portion size such as many fruits and leafy greens.

How Many Calories Per Day?

The answer to this question would differ from person to person. It depends upon that person’s activity level and resting metabolic rate.

It is important to consume sufficient calories even if one is trying to lose weight. The calories consumed should be balanced out by calories spent.

Under-eating, over a period of time lowers our resting metabolic rate which in turn, affects our capacity to burn calories. So, if you crash-diet or starve yourself in the name of dieting, know that it is going to be rendered ineffective soon enough.

I have found an easy calculator online which should help you to with your daily calorie requirement. The credit goes to the website for it:

https://www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator.html

So, What Kinds Of Calories Should We Consume?

That’s a very important detail and the turning point for you if you have specific goals such as muscle-building, fat loss, weight loss etc. Ideally, 45-65% of calories should come from carbs, 20-25% from fat and 10-35% from protein. Of course, it also depends upon your lifestyle, medical history and goals. Kids need more energy coming from fat as they are growing.

Do you want to know a few easy ways to reduce your calorie consumption? Do let me know.

In The End

It is crucial that we change our lifestyle in such a way that the focus is on staying healthy- physically and mentally. This is the only way to enjoy the process and keep it sustainable in the long run. This enables us to have fun while staying active and healthy. World-cruise at 60, anyone?

Also, it is important to consult a nutritionist or your doctor if you plan to make a big dietary change/switch or go on any low-calorie diets.

Hope you found today’s post informative and it cleared away a few doubts. To join me on Instagram for more tips/tricks on health & nutrition, follow the link below. Your support means a lot to me 🙂

https://www.instagram.com/jillofmanytrades_blogger/

Till next Friday

Love, Health & Peace

My Mix for Multigrain atta (Multigrain flour) for everyday use and pssst…weight loss!

Healthier, softer rotis, everyday!

Hi friends,

First of all, thank you all for your love and support so far. Your little messages keep me motivated…and thinking about the next post that I would do 😊

When I started on my “Get Fitter” journey a year back, I made many changes in my lifestyle. Be it being a regular to gym or taking multi-vitamins regularly or incorporating many other changes in my diet as well as lifestyle.

I shall now be sharing with you, all these changes that I made, one blog post by one. Please feel free to make these customized as per your needs.

Multigrain Atta/Flour (whole grain)

One very important diet-change I made was, switching from plain wheat flour/atta to wholegrain-multigrain one.  I call it important because it doesn’t need much effort on your part and is very easy to make – hence more effective! And is good for the entire family.

And no, the usual branded “so-called multigrain attas” don’t work because they have so little quantity of multigrain (I wonder how much is actually whole grain of, too) that you would be surprised and wonder if it would ever do you any good. Check the packing if you don’t believe me! Plus, they are so finely processed that they lose most of their nutrients in the process. Better to make your own, I would suggest.

This way you can make sure that it’s truly wholegrain-multigrain not just a mix of useless finely processed multiple grains!

In fact, the wholegrain multigrain mix that I use now makes my rotis softer, lighter and tastier. Its all a win-win for me!

Why Multigrain (wholegrain, mind you)?

The popularity these days of multigrain is mostly because a multigrain mix of two or more grains pack a more variety of nutrients, much more than a single nutrient like wheat. Each grain has its own nutritional value and consuming these can be great for you.

Multigrain is nutritious, wholesome, packed with fibre and aids you in weight loss. Do you need more reasons before you make the switch?

The wholegrain-multigrain mix that I make is a mix of six whole grains.

Why use a whole grain, one might ask?

A whole grain is one which contains all three parts of the kernel – the bran, germ and endosperm while refined grains are processed to retain only the endosperm. This makes whole grains healthier as they contain the fiber-dense bran and other essential nutrients that are not lost due to processing.

So, coming back to the six whole grains that I mix for my multigrain atta are:

  • Wheat – Whole wheat (with fibre-dense bran) is important as it is high on fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Finely processed white wheat atta/flour doesn’t offer same nutritional benefits.
  • Ragi/Nachni/Finger Millet – Whole grain ragi is gluten free, is rich in fibre and helps with weight loss and diabetes. Its packed with calcium, amino acids, good carbs, Vit D etc and is an excellent source of natural iron.
  • Oats – Whole grain oats are packed with protein as well as fibre and are a rich source of magnesium. It is low on fat and super-filling so it helps in weight management. It is diabetic-friendly as it lowers blood sugar levels and reduces risk of heart diseases.
  • Chana/chickpea – gluten free, high on soluble fibre and protein, reduces blood cholesterol, a rich antioxidant and high in folic acid and magnesium, is diabetic friendly.
  • Makai – Especially good for winters though I mix it all year round due to its taste (which I like) and nutrients. It is also gluten free, rich in iron, zinc and vitamin A. It is a good fibre source hence helps in weight loss.
  • Jwari/Jowar/Sorghum Millet – is a rich source of protein, iron, phosphorus and Vit B. It has fibre and it is gluten-free.

Other than these, Rajgira/Amaranth, Buckwheat (known as Kuttu ka aata in India), Barley/Jau, Bajra/Pearl Millet can also be considered and mixed in your multigrain atta. However I have never mixed these in my multigrain atta, yet. If and when I do, will update this post 😊

Be careful about your multigrain mix If you are diabetic or have any other medical conditions. Also, if you want gluten-free atta, a multigrain would be ideal for you. You can mix and match as per your requirements.

My Multigrain Mix (whole grain and chakki-made) as of today is:

Indian rotis/chapatis

Wheat – 7 kg

Ragi – 500gm

Oats – 500gm

Chana – 500gm

Maize – 250gm

Jowar – 250gm

It makes a total of 9 kgs in one go. I get my chakki-walla to put all the whole grains together and then grind it all together at medium coarseness.

So, if I have convinced you to make the switch, do let me know. And remember, any medical conditions or allergies, double-check!

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