Healthy Weight Loss

Healthy Weight Loss can happen for all of us if we know what caused the weight gain in the first place. Excess body weight is made up of unused energy. A pound of body fat (0.45kg) represents approximately 3500 calories of stored energy (unused calories). In order to shed a pound of fat, you have to burn 3500 more calories than you consume.

This may seem like a simple formula, so why do we still have a weight problem? You must remember that your body is a thinking and living organism that is designed to protect itself. If you tried to reduce your calorie consumption by the entire 3500 calories in one day, your body would register some type of alarm and think that there was a state of emergency. Your metabolism would immediately slow down, go into fasting mode and no healthy weight loss would be achieved. This would also be the case if you thought that consuming all your required calories by means of a burger for breakfast and then eating nothing else for the rest of the day would solve your problem.

It is far more beneficial to spread your weight loss out over a period of a week. This way you should aim to reduce your caloric intake by 3500 to 7000 calories per week which would result in weight loss of one to two pounds per week. Generally, you shouldn’t try to lose more than two pounds (approx 1 kg) in a week. Doing so may cause health risks and you are unlikely to be successful as you would have to modify your diet so much that you would struggle to maintain it.

Assuming you were attempting to lose two pounds per week, you can use a basic method of calorie counting to help you accomplish your goal. Firstly, you need to figure out how many calories a person of your age, sex, and weight usually needs in a day, subtract 500 from that amount, and follow a diet that provides you with that many calories. For example, if you would normally need 3000 calories in a day to function properly and maintain your current weight then you would need to follow a 2500-calorie a day diet in order to achieve healthy weight loss. Secondly, figure out how much exercise a person of your weight would need to do to burn 500 calories per day, and do an exercise plan that will help you achieve your goal. The result is simple: 500 fewer calories consumed and 500 more calories burnt equals a 1000 calorie per day shortfall, which, over the course of a week adds up to 7000 calories, or two pounds. Although individual results may vary, the bottom line is if your body is consuming fewer calories than it needs, then healthy weight loss will be lost.

How to Calculate your needs

You actually need to determine how many calories you really need on a daily basis if you plan on trying to eat fewer calories than your body requires. Adults can work out their approximate energy needs using the following formula:

A. Current Body weight multiplied by 12 (for men) or 11 (for women)Example for males: 150 lbs. x 12 = 1800

B. Activity Level – One third body weight multiplied by the number of hours you don’t sleep, (typically 16 hours) e.g. 150 lbs. x 1/3 = 50 x 16 = 800 Calories.Required Calories = A + B = 1800 + 800 = 2600 calories per day

So we can determine that a 150-pound man requires approximately 2600 calories per day based on an inactive lifestyle.

The “Basal Metabolic Rate” is the number of calories a man of that weight would burn just to function properly, i.e. keep the heart beating, the lungs pumping, etc. You would only burn your basal metabolic rate worth of calories if you slept all day. This means the “Activity” calculation is approximately the amount of calories a person would burn by spending his or her whole day sitting around. If you participate in activities other than sitting all day, you can increase your “activity hours” by the number of hours you are actually active.

Adult females can calculate their approximate calorie needs using the same formula, except that the “Basal Metabolic Rate” is determined by multiplying body weight by 11 instead of 12.

Children and teenagers require more calories by body weight, but the amount varies by age and by individual child. It is best to consult a physician before altering a child’s calorie intake, however increasing activity and exercise in children won’t hurt them, especially in today’s society, as it can help control obesity and improve other areas of their balance and coordination.

Hopefully, the above explanation gives you a general idea of how understanding calories relates to healthy weight loss and weight gain. Of course this is

not a complete diet plan, however understanding your body’s calorie needs is a definite prerequisite to making the changes necessary to conquer obesity.



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