Let's bust one major calorie myth right now! There is no such thing as a good or bad calorie as your body absorbs all calories the same. A calorie is a unit of energy which fuels your body. They are the force behind all of your daily physical activities, right down to eating and breathing. Calories come from nutrients in food, such as protein, fat and carbs. Finding the right number of calories is the key to weight maintenance. If you consume too many calories in, let's say, a big greasy cheeseburger, and don't burn them off with exercise - you will gain weight. Subsequently, if you consume a minimal amount of calories but keep up your exercise routine, you can lose weight. The average female's caloric intake should be 1,200 to 1,500 per day. To put things in perspective: there are 90 calories in the average banana, 171 in a bowl of porridge and 300 in a slice of pizza. Men tend to have a higher need for calories - about 2,000 to 2,400 per day. Empty calories are the kinds of calories found in soft drinks and desserts. They hold no nutritional value and can be harmful to your health. It is recommended that your daily intake of calories should come from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy. Healthy sources of calories include:
- Almonds - a particularly high source of calories, along with healthful fibre and protein.
- Avocados - also a source of folate
- Quinoa - also a source of vitamin B and fibre
- Salmon - also a source of omega-3