According to Medical News Today, “A calorie is a unit of energy. In nutrition, calories refer to the energy people get from the foods and drinks they consume, and the energy they expend in physical activity.” The calories we consume every single day are essential to keeping our body alive.

Are Calories Bad?
Like we said above, the human body needs calories to survive, so it’s important for us to give our bodies the energy it needs. When it comes to calories, people start to get into trouble when they intake too many calories or don’t consume enough. It is imperative that one consumes the amount of calories that is appropriate for their personal health goals. Is your goal to maintain your weight? Consume the same amount of calories that you burn. Is your goal to gain weight? Consume more calories than your body burns. Is your goal to lose weight? Consume fewer calories than your body burns.

It’s also important to pay attention to the nutritional content of the foods we’re getting our calories from—some foods are obviously better than others. Many foods contain empty calories or calories that will provide us with energy but have little nutritional value. Solid fats and added sugars, which are commonly added during industrial foods processing, are two of the main types of empty calories. Sugary drinks and other foods such as ice cream, donuts, pastries, cookies, and pizza are all foods that contain high levels of empty calories.

What Can I Do to Burn More Calories?
Even when resting your body burns calories to while performing basic functions to sustain life. This is called your basal metabolic rate or "BMR." You can increase the number of calories your body burns by increasing your daily physical activity. The number of calories you burn during any workout will vary depending on your body type and what type of workout you’re doing. You could be doing a HIIT workout or taking your favorite cycling class, and the number of calories you burn depends on you and your body. Running is great for exercise and tends to yield a high calorie burn no matter the person, but what it really comes down to what type of workout you’re most comfortable doing and how long you’re willing to do it for. The bottom line is that any type of workout or exercise will be better at burning calories than doing nothing, so get out there and exercise!

If you’re looking for a new way to get out of your comfort zone and exercise with like-minded people, Empower Fitness Lab is a great way to do that. We offer a variety of different class formats for you to choose from, so you can find the perfect fit for you. Visit our website today to see our
entire class schedule
, and visit our Uptown location for a great workout experience.