Weight loss solutions will work best when you are fully understand what is calorie. Specifically, a calorie is the amount of heat that is needed to raise the temperature of a pint of water four degrees Fahrenheit. Actually, one lone calorie will keep a sleeping body running for about fifty-one seconds.
To break it down into more readily understandable terms, consider that one gram of a food (which is less than one-quarter teaspoon) that is essentially protein or essentially carbohydrate will supply four calories of heat or energy. And one gram of fat will give nine calories. Of course, any calculation for any specific food has to be “approximate.” Food is perishable and the number of calories for any given food depends upon its freshness, the time of year, the variety or type of food, its maturity, where it was grown, the amount of sun and water to which it was exposed, the conditions of the soil in which it was grown, and a host of other variable factors.
Actually, when you see how many calorie counting diets there are, it would seem as though cutting down on caloric intake is a wonderfully simple reducing plan in itself. The trouble is, however, that it is not.
A little knowledge of calories can be a dangerous thing. Caloric values of food have nothing to do with measurement of mineral or vitamin or protein content of food. And these are elements which we must have in order to keep alive.
Calories measure energy only – energy which is derived from food and drink. For example, a half-pound of steak contains exactly twice the number of calories as a quarter-pound. But, it is actually less fattening to eat a half-pound steak than a quarter-pound one. The reason for this is that if you eat more protein, you will eat less carbohydrate, and it is this conversion of carbohydrate into fat by the human body that is one of the main causes of obesity.
Human body is equipped with the ability to easily convert carbohydrates into fat. Such fat, forming around the heart and between the muscle fibers, causes disease. Protein, on the other hand, does not easily be¬come fat. That part of carbohydrate which we consume and which is not converted into energy does, on the other hand, easily become converted and stored away in the body as fat.
For example, alcohol supplies fuel for energy in the quickest and most easily assimilated way.
If you are supplied with sufficient energy from alcohol, you do not burn up as much of the carbohydrates and these subsequently turn into fat. That is why if alcohol is taken in large quantities, fat will eventually be produced in the body.
All foods can be fattening if we eat more of any one, or any combination, than the body needs—because all food, as has been pointed out, has caloric value. There are calories in bran and soft drinks, in alcohol, in lemon peel, in pickle juice, just as there are in cake and steak. It’s not a matter of there being “bad calories” or “good calories” just as there are no “bad foods” or “good foods.” All foods are good when properly used.
For example, a large glass of whole milk has about 165 calories. A big piece of fudge has about the same.
What the calorie count does not show is that milk is packed with proteins, vitamins and minerals. Animal proteins, which are obtainable in milk, eggs, cheese and lean meat and fish, are one of the essentials to health. They are all-important in the replacement of worn tissue. A lack of sufficient vitamins and minerals will create illness.
On the other hand, fudge contains barely enough protein, vitamins and minerals to register. Being largely composed of sugar and fat, fudge provides little, though fast, energy. It does not make your skin glossy and clear. It does not make your eyes bright. It does not build bone or blood or lean tissue.
That is not to say that sugar and fat have to be despised. They have a useful place in a normal diet. But a reducing diet is not a normal diet. And if your doctor has figured out that you would need 1,650 calories a day in order to reduce, by taking ten pieces of fudge to make up the required calorie intake you are not going to put yourself on a healthy reducing diet. All you’re going to do is put yourself in the hospital in short order.
And, of course, ten glasses of milk a day – with nothing else – would certainly lead to trouble too. Though if you were to live on milk alone, the trouble would not come about so rapidly, because milk supplies a great many of the food elements needed for health.