Can a Calorie Calculator Help With Weight Loss?

5:12 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

Calorie Calculator

Those that are looking to lose weight may find it easy to get started. The change in eating habits this often involves may give many people an immediate weight loss boost. Sustaining this may be harder. Once the body adapts to a change in diet, the individual may need to think more about issues like the calorie, cholesterol and fat content of the food they eat. A calorie calculator may be a useful tool here.

What are Calorie Calculators?

These tools (also often called trackers or counters) are aimed at helping the individual assess the food that they eat. So, for example, they may be able to use a calculator to find out how many calories are in a specific food or portion size. Some counters may also give further information such as typical fat content.

These kinds of calculators are available online and are often free to use. In some cases they may be included in the subscription cost of a broader weight loss program such as a meal planner or online diet journal. It is also possible to buy a hand held calorie counter or to download applications to certain types of phones.

What are Calorie Trackers Used For?

People will use these tools for a variety of reasons. For example, they may want to:
  • Meal plan (on a daily or weekly basis) to make sure that what they eat sticks to their recommended calorie intake each day.
  • Check out the content of a specific food to see how healthy or unhealthy it is.
  • Monitor their fat or cholesterol intake for either medical or dietary reasons. People on the Alli diet, for example, must be careful not to consume too much fat and a tracker could help them keep an eye on their intake.
  • Use a combined calorie checker/burner tool to assess how many calories they have burned off with exercise.
  • Work out what their daily calorie intake should be.

Not all calculators offer the same services and it may be worth checking a few out before choosing one to use.

Why Count Calories?

Everyone has a specific daily calorie intake that will keep them fit and healthy. People with weight problems often consume too many calories for their body shape and size and for the levels of exercise that they take. An individual that eats too many calories will basically see what isn't burned off turned into fat.

On a weight loss plan their intake may be set at a certain level. If they can stick to this (and get their recommended amount of daily exercise) then the individual stands a better chance of losing weight consistently and of keeping it off in the future.

But, those who haven't paid much attention to this in the past may need a helping hand. Working out how to fit foods into a daily calorie intake can be made a lot easier if they can assess the content of what they eat on a numerical basis.

So, for example, if an individual is given a calorie limit of 1600 calories a day, then using this kind of tool can make it much easier to understand both how to eat more healthily and how to build meals that will stick to their limit. They know how many calories they should eat and a calorie tracker can help them plan meals and/or track food content quickly and simply.

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Calculating BMI for Body Fat and Health Risks

5:44 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

Calculating BMI

Body Mass Index (BMI) is an indicator of relative body fat. The body mass index calculation takes into consideration the ratio of weight to height, and defines what weight category a person falls into. As such, by calculating BMI one can help predict health risks for weight associated diseases, and may want to consider their weight management options.

What is BMI - Body Mass Index?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is an indicator of relative body fat that can be used to predict a person’s risk for weight associated diseases. It is determined using a simple calculation that takes into consideration the ratio of weight to height, and defines what weight category a person falls into. As such, BMI is used to classify whether a person is underweight, of normal weight, overweight or obese.

The Body Mass Index Calculation

BMI is defined as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in metres (kg/m2).
As such, the body mass index calculation uses the following equation:
BMI = Weight / (Height)2

How Does Calculating BMI Correlate to Normal Weight, Underweight, Overweight or Obese?

According to the WHO, a person is:
  • of normal weight if their BMI lies between 18.5 and 25 kg/m2.
  • underweight if their BMI falls below 18.5 kg/m2
  • overweight if their BMI lies between 25kg/m2 and 30kg/m2
  • obese if their BMI falls above 30kg/m2

Implications of Calculating BMI

By calculating BMI to determine if one is underweight, overweight, obese or of normal weight, a person may realise if they are at risk of weight-related complications and whether they should consider implementing a weight management strategy. Overweight, obese and underweight each pose health risks, and can lead to various complications and diseases, some of which can be life-threatening.

Health Risks When Body Mass Calculation = Overweight or Obesity
It is well known that excess weight is linked with certain diseases. These health risks are especially high for obesity, which is associated with life-threatening conditions including cancer, diabetes, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, heart disease and stroke. Of note is heart disease, which is the number one cause of death for obese people.

Studies have shown that even a small weight loss - as little as 10% - can help lower the health risks for developing weight-associated diseases.

If a person is found to fall in the overweight or obese category, they may want to think about employing some lifestyle changes or investigate other options in order to reach a more healthy weight.

Besides diet and exercise, weight loss options include obesity drug treatments and surgery. Obesity drug treatment is usually only employed when changes in lifestyle measures have failed. In addition, whether one is suitable for weight loss treatment with an obesity drug will depend on various factors, including their BMI status and any other known health risks, such as diabetes or dyslipidaemia. Restrictive weight loss surgery is usually only employed for morbidly obese patients.

Health Risks When Body Mass Index Calculation = Underweight

Of course, being underweight is associated with health problems as well. First, underweight may indicate malnutrition, an eating disorder, or an underlying cause for weight loss that is not as evident. In addition, being underweight increases one’s health risk for osteoporosis, infertility and a weakened immune system.

For anyone concerned about calculating BMI and the resultant health risks, it is suggested that they seek help from a health professional regarding their weight gain or weight loss options.
By simply calculating BMI, one can gain an indication of the amount of relative body fat they have and determine which weight category they fall into. If a person’s BMI falls within the underweight, overweight or obesity ranges, they can then assess their lifestyle and possibly seek professional help in order to determine what changes may be made reach a more healthy weight and prevent future complications and diseases.

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