A round of 850 calorie Cinnabons for all! by Janice Taylor, Beliefnet.com blogger and 50 pound big-time-loser.
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is doing his best to hold us (individuals and restaurants) accountable for the amount of high-fat, high-calorie foods we consume by requiring fast food restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus.
And now that the big n’ fast-food chains have rolled out their menu boards, complete with calorie counts, will you still guiltlessly order a 850 calorie Cinnabon, the 1,130 calorie Big Mac meal, complete with medium fries and a medium soda?
I’m wondering … how many people actually know what a calorie is and how many they need to maintain, lose or gain weight, and why 1,130 calories for a Big Mac meal is NOT the way to go!
What IS a calorie?
While most people know what a calorie does – gives us energy, fuels us, and sometimes if we eat enough of them, adds weight to our bodies – they’re not exactly sure how to define it.
A calorie is a unit of heat. It is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one (1) gram of water one (1) degree Celsius. All calories either come from carbohydrates, proteins, fats or alcohol.
Most of us think of calories in relation to food (and weight), as in “This piece of cake has 360 calories. I’ll blow my entire day if I eat this.”
A calorie is also a unit of measurement of energy produced by food when it is used in the body. We need calories to fuel us. If we ingest more fuel into our bodies than we need for the amount of activity we do, our bodies will store this unused fuel. It may be stored as fat, or muscle if we do enough muscle-building exercises.
It’s a simple matter of calories in and calories burned. You “burn” calories (fuel) when you perform physical activities, and you also burn calories just by sitting still, breathing and even thinking. A person who is physically active can eat more calories each day without gaining weight, because this person is using the fuel she pumps into her body, rather than storing it!
The number of calories the body burns is different for everyone. Roughly speaking, on average, a person needs 2,000 calories per day. A pound equals 3,500 calories. So, if you eat an extra 500 calories per day for seven days, you will gain a pound.
Got it?! Go for healthy foods that give you the most bang for your calorie buck!
Spread the word, NOT the icing!
For more fat-burning info., join the Kick in the Tush Club community.
In need of forgiveness for that Big Mac you ate (or any other dietary transgression)? Pick up a copy of All Is Forgiven, Move ON!