For healthy living, it is very important to know, our daily energy or calorie in more scientific terms, expenditure and total input. Many times I have noticed patients telling that they eat very less and I ask them to write down the dietary recall for any single day, it comes out to be much more than they actually require! This is because of lack of knowledge about the food they are eating, they do not know which food has how much calories, what food should be selected to bring out maximum satiety in minimum calories, and which food items should be abundant completely as they are giving nothing but calories.

In SAAOL program, we conduct camps to give ‘nutrition education’, to our patients, where we teach them to count the calories, as we have done in our earlier chapter of this book, about the nutritive value of the food, so that they can make the best choice for optimum health.

The concept of balance in energy intake and expenditure can be understood from the example of your day to day life. Let’s assume that your monthly salary is Rs. 50,000, you spend 40,000 and save 10,000 each month, so your early saving comes out to be Rs. 1, 20,000, this is the case first. Now assume your monthly salary is only Rs. 30,000, again you are spending 40,000, then at the end of the year you will have a deficit of 1,20,000, this is case second. Now in the third case assume your salary is 40,000, and your expenditure is 40,000. In this case, you are neither saving, nor you are falling, that is you are in a state of balance. These three cases are listed below:-

The first case is of positive money or energy balance, this will lead to a collection or of whatever it is extra for you.

The second case is negative money or energy balance, here you will be utilizing your old savings to make up with the shorts, and after you are finished with that as well you will come in trouble or you will automatically reduce your expenses to match your salary.

The third case is of absolute balance between the income and expenditure, here neither you are saving nor you are falling short of money that means you are living in the state of equilibrium in terms of money.         

The same is the case with our body if a healthy individual is burning 1600 Kcal every day he/she must consume 1600 Kcal every day to keep a healthy state of life.

In the case of positive or negative deviations, the following impacts would be seen if the expenditure of energy is less than consumption:–

1.    The body will save extra calories in form of fat and you will gain weight.

2.    It has been found that extra 3500 Kcal of energy in a week’s time can increase body weight up to 1 pound.

3.    There will be problems related to obesity like hypertension, coronary heart disease, and diabetes.

If the expenditure of energy is more than consumption:–

1.    The body will lose the weight to provide deficient calories, first by burning fat then by wasting muscle.

2.    There will problems related to malnutrition in the body.

If the expenditure of energy is equal to input:–

1.    The body will maintain weight.

2.    The great state of health.

Hence, we see that for great health it is necessary to maintain a balance between our input and output of total calories in a day.

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