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The Truth About Calories

Last night an interesting series aired on Channel 9 called ‘The Truth About Calories.’ The show is hosted by Dr Chris van Tulleken who is an infectious diseases doctor as well as a know TV presenter in the UK. His show ‘The Truth About Calories’ was an informative look at calories in general to give us a better understanding on what calories actually are.

Many of us affiliate calories with junk food and weight-gain so this show was a good eye-opener on how we actually do need calories and many healthy foods are also a source of calories. As Dr Chris went through on the tv show, there are three main sources of calories:

1. Carbohydrates

2. Fat

3. Protein

So what is a calorie? Calories are the measure of energy in our food. We need this energy to function otherwise we end up feeling drained and unmotivated. However, too much of this ‘energy’ is when we can run into trouble. On average, we need around 2000 calories to function.

This average can depending on our your weight and your lifestyle on how much energy is burned on a daily basis. For example, if you workout an hour every morning, you would in theory be burning more calories than someone who does no exercise at all and thus need more to be able to sustain your energy levels throughout the day.

In saying that, as Dr Chris looked at last night on ‘The Truth About Calories’, sitting down can actually burn just as many calories as someone running around.

With so many conflicting pieces of information about calories it can get a bit overwhelming on how we should deal with them. Throughout it all, the message is all about balance especially when it comes to portion sizes of your meals as that will effect how your food is digested.

Calories should not be something we should avoid or be afraid of.  Our bodies need calories to function so the best thing we can do is keep things in moderation and keep a healthy and balanced lifestyle of good food and exercise.