How Does Your Body Use Calories?

Your body needs calories just to stay alive and operate properly. This energy is used for basic functions such as keeping your heart beating and lungs breathing. Calories are essential for all basic and complex functions including the regulation of body temperature and the operation of every cell in your body. The more activity you do is the more calories you burn. Your body also needs calories in order to grow and develop. You burn calories without even thinking about it such as during the digestion of food, recovery of muscles after exercise, and even while you sleep.

How Many Calories Do You Need?

People differ in size and have different metabolisms, so the number of calories a person should consume will vary depending on several factors. These factors include a person’s height, weight, age, and daily activity level. The bigger a person is, the more calories that person may need, vice versa. Even though two people can have the same body measurements, the number of calories they need can differ because of the way their body metabolizes what they consume. Calorie calculators are available online, which can be used to determine how many calories your body needs based on the necessary factors.

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Macro Basics

Macronutrients or macros are carbohydrates, fats, and protein. With the term macro meaning very large, these three nutrients are responsible for providing calories (the only other substance that provides calories is alcohol but is not a macronutrient since we do not need it for survival). Anything you eat is broken down to these three macronutrients. Your body does not recognize the food you eat as chicken, rice, salad, etc.

What Is A Carb?

Carbohydrate is your body’s primary source of energy. There are two types of carbs, simple and complex. A simple carb supplies your body with quick energy but doesn’t last long. A complex carb takes longer to break down in your body, yet is a long-lasting source of energy. Neither simple nor complex carb is bad for you. They can both be used to your advantage throughout the day. Upon waking up in the morning, chances are you haven’t had anything to eat for the last few hours you’ve been asleep

What Is Protein?

Protein helps build and repair tissue while playing a role in various cell functions in the body. It is a major component for growing hair, nails, muscle, and other parts of the body. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. A complete protein consists of all 20 amino acids, while the absence of one or more amino acids is considered an incomplete protein. Complete proteins are mainly found in meats such as chicken, beef, steak, fish as well as eggs, milk, and whey protein. Foods such as grains, nuts, seeds, or legumes are considered incomplete proteins

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