General Guide to Understanding Calories

Avoid Empty Calories

When losing weight, what you eat accounts for a wide percentage of progression. Reading the FDA Food Label for calories is important, but balancing nutrition with your caloric intake holds the secrets of "burning stored fat". Consuming real foods (good carbohydrates, essential fats and lean proteins) while managing the number calories shown on food packages can boost your weight loss. And... to jump-start your routine, simply add a little exercise.

Quick Information

Most empty calories come from solid fats, added sugars, or both. When counting calories in processed foods, your understanding of caloric consumption should follow these standardized guidelines:

  • Foods containing 40 calories are considered “low-calorie foods”
  • Foods containing 100 calories are considered “moderate-calorie foods”
  • Foods containing 400 or more calories are “high-calorie foods”

Calories are depicted by a single-serving basis. When consuming food, it is imperative to multiply the serving's caloric contents by the number of your consumed servings.

Analyzing Your Food

So, you know the basics. However, a deeper understanding of macronutrient content is just as important. Foods contain three basic components: protein, fats and carbohydrates. Normally, fats carry twice as many calories as both proteins and carbohydrates.

Approximately 30 percent of your calories should come from fat, and another 30 percent should come from protein. The remaining 40 percent should be derived from carbohydrates.

Become a Smart Consumer

"Calories in" versus "calories out" rules the weight loss highway. You need to consume less calories than your daily routine burns to lose weight. Similarly, understanding the following rules is important when burning calories through daily exercise:

  • Your body will burn carbohydrates before fat
  • Your body will utilize fat as backup energy
  • Essential fatty acids are necessary for fat loss

In fact, the above-mentioned fatty acids actually increase fat breakdown and speed up weight loss. Flax seeds, olive oil, canola and avocados all contain essential fatty acids, and should replace normal fats within a diet.

Whole Food Carbohydrates

Because your body will fuel itself from carbohydrate calories before fat calories, your daily carbohydrate intake should take place in the morning. Consider this: You consume 100 carbohydrate calories and 40 protein calories. When you exercise, those 100 carbohydrate calories will likely be burned off first.

For most people, that's way too much information to track. At Metabolic Research Center we make it easy. Simply follow your personalized menu plan and let the real foods you're eating restore your body's natural balance. Then, whenever you exercise, you know you will be doing it for the right reasons, improved health and wellness.


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44 lbs and 80 inches!!!!! I NEVER could have done this without you ladies. They taught me how to eat. They are encouraging and motivational. Even when I wanted to give up they helped me over come my discouragement of the plateau I hit. 2 thumbs up for the ladies here and the MRC program!!!! I have tried numerous other plans from workouts to diets and mixing the 2. Nothing worked before I started at MRC.


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