How do diet tracking equipment and apps work? How do they calculate how many calories you consume based on the food that you eat and sometimes even tell you how much kcals you spend daily? In this article, we will discuss just that! By the end of this article, you can also become your own diet app! This article will help you become more focused and aware of your consumption and will lead to a better response to your program.
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This how the pros diet:Follow @AboutLifting
Disclaimer: This article will NOT cover the nitty-gritty behind how these apps work, but instead, we will teach you how the apps come up with the calorie count and the analysis it gives you. We pretty much will show you how to do yourself what the diet apps do for you.
Why track? And what are Macros?Follow @AboutLifting
Diet tracking apps work around the premise of computing your total caloric intake based on the “macros” that you consume. But what is a “Macro”? The work Macros mean “Macronutrients.” Back in our semester of nutrition in nursing school, we classify nutrients into two categories: Macronutrients and micronutrients. Micronutrients are your vitamins and minerals. Macronutrients are your CHO, CHON, and fats. CHO is the chemical term for Carbohydrates, CHON is composed just like your carbs but with nitrogen – you guessed it right, its protein. Fats are your lipids – very self-explanatory. Moving forward, you can easily remember the different macros thanks to our very unique ChoCHONfats terminology, you are welcome.
Okay, let’s move on to the caloric value (kcal) of each gram of these macros. Just remember that both CHO and CHON (carbohydrates and protein) yield 4kcal or four calories while fats yield 9 per gram. This fact is crucial because it’s the basis of how diet tracking works.
Now let’s get into a Diet Tracking app:
When you log in to a diet app, it asks you for your information. It will ask you your weight, your sex, and your height. It needs this information to calculate or estimate your BMR, which will be discussed below. It also asks you for your activity level, and in the next part of this article, you will see a table to calculate this yourself. Then finally it will ask you for your consumption and what food you ate. Some even include how many calories did you eat. From all this information, the app can tell you if you will be losing or gaining weight. Don’t worry! We will teach you how it does that and how to use the same information that the app gets to be your own diet app.
We get it, but why count calories in the first place?
Any hard diet gainer (which means your body does not readily respond to the diet you’re in and will get fat quickly, for instance) needs to calculate the number of calories you consume in a day versus the amount you spend. At the end of the day, if you have more calories than what you use, you gain weight, and you lose weight when you consume less than you spend. It’s kinda like your finances, really, and the “midsection” of your wallet. If you have more income than what you spend, you will end up with some savings. But if you spend more money than your income provides, you will be in debt.
Caloric surplus vs. Caloric deficit
Caloric surplus: Your state when your total consumed calories exceed the amount you spend, via metabolism or via physical training and exercise or workout whichever term you want to use. This state is the state you want to be in if your goal is to gain weight. Bodybuilders, in their bulking phase, need to be in this state to continue to gain muscle and hypertrophy. But if you’re trying to lose fat for your bikini, you might want to be in the next state.
Caloric Deficit: This is your body’s state when the total calories you consume for the day is LESS than what you spend. This state will automatically lead to weight loss in the long run. Losing 1 pound or so of fat in a month is possible (outside of the pounds of water weight loss after you cut all the heavy sodium intake).
Calculating your calories is very straightforward – you eat 1kg of steak – that is 1000 grams of 4kcal or 4000k calories. And let’s say you ate 500 grams of rice – that’s another 2000 kcal today. Now let’s say your steak had 300 grams of fat; that is 300 multiplied by nine, and you have another 2700 calories. Congratulations! You just ate a total of 8700 kcal today! Yes, it’s an out of this world example (will probably only be able to do this on a gluttony challenge!), but you get the picture!
Once you know many calories you eat, you need to know how much you burn! To do this, you can calculate for your BMR based on your age, sex, and activity level. You have to be honest with yourself. If you burned more than 8700 in our example – then you would be losing weight.
Use this BMR Calculator from The calculator site to get your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) or your body’s base caloric usage even without doing anything. Then add that to the total caloric expenditures to whatever activities you did through the day using a table from infofit.ca.
Now that you know how to calculate your calories yourself – hopefully, you will be more mindful of the food that you eat and how much you move every day. This will help you reach your beach body this 2020! How is your diet going? How many calories did you just eat today? The biggest one wins a pizza!