Ah, the calorie. The 'c' word. So much time and energy is spent counting them, obsessing about them, wondering how many you need, restricting them, and generally just talking about them. Everyone's got an opinion. Are you getting too much? Too little? Ack!
First of all, a little science. A calorie is energy, plain and simple. It is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water through 1 °C. So, when you eat food (fuel), the processing mechanisms in your body activate to digest the food, and thermal energy is created.
A calorie is not a secret little guy hiding in your food that's determined to make you overweight if you eat too many of him and his buddies. Sometimes we give too much power to words, so let's relax on obsessing about the calorie and what he might do to us, okay?
When you take food in, its main purpose is to give you energy to live. Your body burns the food/ fuel you eat so you can get through your day. The key is to give the right amount of fuel to run on and stay healthy; too little and you will be weak and have low energy; too much and your body will store the excess energy for later in the form of fat. This is a very simplified definition, but I like to keep things simple.
A lot of diet plans are built around counting the almighty Calorie. But really, who has time for that? And what's a serving? And who wants to weigh your food before every bite? We all have lives here...
Which is why I have created the right amount of calories for each of you already: so you don't have to stress about it yourself. The right amount to give you sustained energy, spaced out into 6-7 meals per day, so your body has what it needs when it needs it. Your food is your fuel and your energy!
Depending on your goals, your plan might include fewer calories than you are used to eating, and that's fine! Your body needs to burn excess fat stores as energy, and in combination with your fuel/ food, you're all set. If you're putting on size, your body has just the amount it needs without starting to store fat (energy for later) but enough to fuel your muscles and deliver the nutrients they need to grow and change.
When we get stressed about life, we lose our mind-body connection that tells us when we're full, and we overdo it. Sometimes our flavor/ pleasure centers in our brain tell us we need more of something when we really don't. And this is an adjustment we have to make- really listening to our bodies and making sure we are giving it just the right amount of energy it needs in the form of clean, healthy calories. But don't worry- you don't have to count or stress about anything- I've done all the work for you. Just follow closely and keep it simple.