default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Calorie budgeting: Calculating and categorizing your spending

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Monday, April 22, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 6:53 am, Mon Apr 22, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — Calories can be an abstract number unless you put them into perspective.  

The basic premise behind a calorie budget coincides with a financial budget: you have to know how much money you’re taking in and how much money you’re putting out for things to balance.

The same can be said for your calorie budget. Your calorie budget is set for how many calories you need in a day — influenced by your baseline metabolism and your physical activity level. This number is your daily allowance of calories which gives you a “budget” with which to work.  

Your baseline metabolism (also referred to as basal metabolic rate) is influenced by a host of factors including gender, height, weight and genetics. Your control over changing this factor is rather limited. However, the physical activity aspect of your calorie budget is easily influenced — the more you move the more calories you need. A 150-pound person can burn 440 calories cycling moderately for an hour or 315 calories briskly walking for an hour. Calories burned enhance your budget like a bonus check. Hence why exercise is such a key component to weight loss and weight maintenance.

Understanding what you can afford in terms of calories will help keep you on track. Similar to finances, $1,000 computes differently with different budgets. One thousand dollars to an average family is a big chunk of change.  One thousand dollars to a large cooperation is often immaterial.  Likewise for calorie budgets. Four hundred calories is a substantial amount for a 1,200-calorie budget — a third of daily intake. Four hundred calories is a drop in the bucket to someone with a 3,000-calorie budget. The daily allotment of calories quickly adds perspective to the calories listed on the back of a food package.  

Now that we have an idea of a calorie budget, why is it necessary? To help make sense of this question, let’s bring it back to the financial world (where is Kai Ryssdal when you need him?).

If you don’t know how much money you have to work with, how will you know when you’ve over spent your funds? The truth is you won’t know if you’ve gone over budget until later when your debit card gets declined and you receive a few nasty-grams from your bank charging you for NSFs. This same story rings true with calorie budgets. If you don’t know what your budget is, how can you tell when you’ve gone over? You’ll start to notice when those sneaky, unbudgeted calories translate to excess pounds, tight jeans and a higher BMI.

Understanding a budget is great when tools are available to keep track of your budget. We used to need paper food journals and calorie books to help us track our calories. We would have to write it all down by hand and then reference a calorie counting book to get the right numbers to correspond with our food entries. As helpful as that was, it was difficult to attain compliance. We have websites and apps that count calories for us. We still need to enter our food and exercise, but the food referencing and calorie addition are done for us. Two user-friendly, popular online programs are MyFitnessPal and Lose It. Both allow the user to define their calorie budget based on weight maintenance, weight loss and weight gain.

These programs can save the meals and foods you routinely eat for easy computing.  

Comprehensive websites such as ChooseMyPlate.gov feature calorie and activity tracking along with sample meal plans, reports, and a weight manager.  

The site also has “Food-A-Pedia” where users can look up foods and compare them side-by-side to help you make a better choice.

A calorie budget is a great way to keep your food intake in great fiscal shape. When you knoCalories can be an abstract number unless you put them into perspective.  

The basic premise behind a calorie budget coincides with a financial budget: you have to know how much money you’re taking in and how much money you’re putting out for things to balance.

The same can be said for your calorie budget. Your calorie budget is set for how many calories you need in a day — influenced by your baseline metabolism and your physical activity level. This number is your daily allowance of calories which gives you a “budget” with which to work.  

Your baseline metabolism (also referred to as basal metabolic rate) is influenced by a host of factors including gender, height, weight and genetics. Your control over changing this factor is rather limited. However, the physical activity aspect of your calorie budget is easily influenced — the more you move the more calories you need. A 150-pound person can burn 440 calories cycling moderately for an hour or 315 calories briskly walking for an hour. Calories burned enhance your budget like a bonus check. Hence why exercise is such a key component to weight loss and weight maintenance.

Understanding what you can afford in terms of calories will help keep you on track. Similar to finances, $1,000 computes differently with different budgets. One thousand dollars to an average family is a big chunk of change.  One thousand dollars to a large cooperation is often immaterial.  Likewise for calorie budgets. Four hundred calories is a substantial amount for a 1,200-calorie budget — a third of daily intake. Four hundred calories is a drop in the bucket to someone with a 3,000-calorie budget. The daily allotment of calories quickly adds perspective to the calories listed on the back of a food package.  

Now that we have an idea of a calorie budget, why is it necessary? To help make sense of this question, let’s bring it back to the financial world (where is Kai Ryssdal when you need him?).

If you don’t know how much money you have to work with, how will you know when you’ve over spent your funds? The truth is you won’t know if you’ve gone over budget until later when your debit card gets declined and you receive a few nasty-grams from your bank charging you for NSFs. This same story rings true with calorie budgets. If you don’t know what your budget is, how can you tell when you’ve gone over? You’ll start to notice when those sneaky, unbudgeted calories translate to excess pounds, tight jeans and a higher BMI.

Understanding a budget is great when tools are available to keep track of your budget. We used to need paper food journals and calorie books to help us track our calories. We would have to write it all down by hand and then reference a calorie counting book to get the right numbers to correspond with our food entries. As helpful as that was, it was difficult to attain compliance. We have websites and apps that count calories for us. We still need to enter our food and exercise, but the food referencing and calorie addition are done for us. Two user-friendly, popular online programs are MyFitnessPal and Lose It. Both allow the user to define their calorie budget based on weight maintenance, weight loss and weight gain.

These programs can save the meals and foods you routinely eat for easy computing.  

Comprehensive websites such as ChooseMyPlate.gov feature calorie and activity tracking along with sample meal plans, reports, and a weight manager.  

The site also has “Food-A-Pedia” where users can look up foods and compare them side-by-side to help you make a better choice.

A calorie budget is a great way to keep your food intake in great fiscal shape. When you know how many calories are budgeted for the day, calorie amounts on food labels become more relevant as useful knowledge instead of an abstract concept.

Just as keeping your finances in balance helps to prevent fiscal collapse, keeping your calories in check helps to prevent unforeseen weight gain. And, ultimately, weight maintenance is the fiscally responsible choice given the health cost of weight gain —  joint pain, sleep apnea, chronic disease ... not to mention a new wardrobe. Embrace a calorie budget with the same fervor you maintain your checking account and experience the wealth in a healthy weight.

Tiffany Ricci is a clinical dietitian at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and Denali Center.w how many calories are budgeted for the day, calorie amounts on food labels become more relevant as useful knowledge instead of an abstract concept.

Just as keeping your finances in balance helps to prevent fiscal collapse, keeping your calories in check helps to prevent unforeseen weight gain. And, ultimately, weight maintenance is the fiscally responsible choice given the health cost of weight gain —  joint pain, sleep apnea, chronic disease ... not to mention a new wardrobe. Embrace a calorie budget with the same fervor you maintain your checking account and experience the wealth in a healthy weight.

Tiffany Ricci is a clinical dietitian at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and Denali Center.

More about

More about

Advertisement

www.walkerforalaska.com

Bill Walker, candidate for governor, was born in Fairbanks before statehoo...

Wes Madden 2014 Ad #2 Fairbanks

Description

WEIO 2014
Blue Loon - Papa Roach Live 2014 (Rev)

Blue Loon - Papa Roach Live 2014 (Revised)Fairbanks, AlaskaFriday, July 11th ...

Stanley Nissan Service

Stanley Nissan service

Connect with us