In addition to the tools listed above, there are several apps available online for calorie counting with a large food database within. In addition to counting the calories assimilated, many of these apps available on different devices allow you to roughly calculate the amount of calories burned by carrying out certain activities.
There are totally free apps and others for a fee – we list a few below:
- Red Apple;
- Macro fitocracy;
- Spark People;
It should be noted that these apps are only useful for supporting calorie counting and not for weight control, which instead must be linked to a balanced diet, exercise and possible support with weight control supplements. This is a necessary clarification to make since, as we will see in the next chapter, counting calories is not always the best solution to control body weight.
Counting Calories Doesn’t Always Lose Weight
Once again, we are forced to dispel the general belief that to lose weight only the calories consumed during the day count: in reality this is not the case.
In confirmation of the fact that weight loss is not linked only to the calculation of the calories to be consumed, scientific research has highlighted the interesting correlations between nutrition, endocrine system, nervous system and metabolic and enzymatic processes, demonstrating that it is not correct to say that to lose weight only calories count.
In fact, some hormones intervene in the appetite regulation mechanism, in the storage of nutrients, and consequently in the mechanisms of slimming and fat accumulation. In this regard, the main hormones involved in these processes are insulin, leptin, glucagon, ghrelin and cortisol.
- Insulin allows glucose to enter cells so that they can supply themselves with energy. It is secreted in minimal quantities during the day, but increases immediately after a meal, especially if it is rich in carbohydrates.
- The interesting thing is that since insulin is an anabolic hormone, it is also the main responsible for the storage of fatty acids in the adipose tissue starting from Acetyl-Coenzyme-A, a molecule produced during the metabolism of the various nutrients taken with food. .
It represents the main precursor for the synthesis of long-chain fatty acids that will be deposited in the adipose tissue, starting from excess glucose, which can no longer be transformed into glycogen.
The main hormone antagonist of insulin is glucagon
Which, having a catabolic function, stimulates the mobilization of fats, or lipolysis. It promotes weight loss as it stimulates the body to oxidize reserve fats. It is secreted in the event of a drop in blood sugar and during physical activity.
Leptin, on the other hand, is an adipokine, that is, a hormone produced by adipose tissue. It communicates with the hypothalamus by regulating the hunger / satiety mechanism. More precisely, it decreases the sense of hunger and increases energy expenditure, promoting weight loss. Obese people can have high levels of leptin in the blood and at the same time have receptors resistant to its action.
Therefore these patients can have elevated levels of leptin without however perceiving the sense of satiety.
- Cortisol is another counter-insular hormone; known as the “stress hormone”, its production increases in conditions of psycho-physical fatigue and also in case of hypoglycemia. An excess of cortisol is correlated with an increase in visceral fat and fat in the abdominal region, constituting a serious problem in terms of weight loss; this is because cortisol determines, among other things, insulin resistance, which in turn increases the ability to convert sugars into fats.
- If you are interested in learning more about the link between sugars and fats, we recommend reading our blog article: “Sugar Or Fats: What Makes You Fat More?”