More than two-thirds of adults and 35 percent of children in the United States are either overweight or obese, according to the International Food Information Council. Rates of obesity have increased because our calorie equation is no longer balanced.
Calories In > Calories Out = Weight Gain
The food you eat supplies essential nutrients to help keep your body healthy. In addition to vitamins and minerals, food also supplies you with energy in the form of a calorie. Calories in food vary depending on its nutrient composition, specifically the amount of carbohydrates, fat and protein it contains. Each gram of protein and carbohydrate contain 4 calories, and each gram of fat contains 9 calories. Foods high in fat tend to be higher in calories because it is a more concentrated source of calories.
Your body uses the energy from food to do its everyday activities from breathing to exercise. The amount of energy, or calories, you need each day varies and depends on your age, weight, height, sex and activity levels. If you consume more calories than your body needs you will store the extra energy as fat. When it comes to weight control, the goal is to balance your calorie intake.
Calories In = Calories Out = Weight Maintenance
There are a number of websites that can help you determine your calorie needs. The Mayo Clinic Calorie Calculator is a great place to start http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/calorie-calculator/NU00598. Once you know how many calories you need each day, you can balance your intake for weight maintenance.
Many diets today focus on restricting either your protein, fat or carbohydrate intake to help you lose weight. But studies show that it doesn’t matter where the calories come from when trying to lose weight, but the total amount. Whether you follow a low-fat or low-carbohydrate diet, when you want to lose weight you must eat fewer calories than your body needs.
Calories In < Calories Out = Weight Loss
However, when restricting your calorie intake it is important to make healthy food choices to ensure you meet all of your nutrient needs. In addition, balancing your carbohydrate, protein and fat intake can help you manage hunger to help with your weight loss efforts. The Zone Diet recommends your meals contain 40 percent of its calories from carbohydrates, 30 percent of its calories from protein and 30 percent of its calories from fat to manage both blood sugars and appetite.
All the recipes at Drink Your Meals are Zone balanced to help control hunger and to meet your specific calorie needs for your weight goals.