Food Consumption Affects Weight Loss
The first thing that you need to know is that 1 pound of body weight is equal to 3500 calories. If you gain a pound that means that you consumed 3500 calories more than you burned. If you lose a pound that means that you have burned 3500 calories more than you consumed. That figure does not change whether the calories are consumed from fat or carbohydrates or whether they were burned by riding a bicycle, swimming or just veging out in front of the TV. A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. This is important information in your quest for weight loss and weight control so make note of it.
1 pound of body weight gained or lost = 3500 calories.
The trick to losing weight is to eat fewer calories AND burn more calories each day. That is the basis that all "diets" (there is that four letter word again) are based upon no matter whether you are counting calories, fat grams or carbohydrates.
Even though you may believe that most of the calories that your body burns in a day are from the exercise that you do, you are not right. Only about 30% of the calories you burn each day are from exercise. However, the exercise that you do can influence at what rate you burn calories when you are not exercising. Exercise or the lack of exercise affects your metabolic rate that is, the rate at which your body burns calories when it is at rest. About 60% of the calories that you burn each day are burned when you are not engaging in physical exercise.
The body burns calories to fuel the thousands of chemical reactions required to maintain body temperature, repair cells and keep your heart, lungs, liver and kidneys functioning.
So, you ask, where do the other 10% of the calories get burned up? 30% during exercise, 60 % the rest of the time what about the other 10%?
Those are the ones that the body uses to actually digest the food you eat that supplies all of the calories needed for everything else.
There is more. All calories are not created equally. Our bodies simply do not process all calories consumed in exactly the same way.
Calories that are consumed in the form of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), for example, contain about 9 calories per gram but our bodies don't use those calories as an energy source. These calories are used to rebuild cells and tissues, particularly after an injury. If consumed at very high levels they increase metabolic rate and increase fat burn off, resulting in loss of weight. (This is the basic theory of the Dr. Atkins Diet). Consumption of high levels of EFAs has been linked to heart disease but that is an ongoing debate in the scientific community. More calories are absorbed from refined foods because it takes so much longer for them to pass through our systems. Natural and unrefined food (an apple for example) usually takes between 12 and 15 hours to pass through our digestive systems. Refined foods can take up to 75 hours to pass through our digestive systems and our systems continue to extract calories from them for the whole 75 hours.
Our bodies require vitamins and minerals to properly digest food therefore empty calorie foods those that contain no vitamins or minerals are stored as fat while our bodies wait for the needed vitamins and minerals to properly process them.
Each human being is unique. All human bodies do not process not use calories in the exact same way. You know at least one of those people who can eat like the proverbial horse and never gain a pound they make my eyes turn green with envy. Then we all know those people (we may be them) who can just think about eating a donut and gain a couple of pounds. It hardly seems fair but that is just the way it is.
We each have to learn what and how much we can eat in order to lose those unwanted pounds. We can use the available charts to help guide our choices but when it comes right down to it, each of us will have to determine what and how much of it is the right thing for ourselves.
Exercise Affects Weight Loss
It shouldn't come as a big surprise to anybody that you are burning more energy when you are standing than when you are sitting, more energy when you are walking than when you are standing and more energy when you are running than when you are walking. That is just common sense.
When you begin your "eating healthier" plan, you really need to include an exercise plan to go along with it. You can only eat just so many fewer calories than you burn each day and exercise allows you to burn more for the time you are exercising plus increase your metabolic rate for several hours after you are through exercising. In addition, vigorous physical exercise causes our brains to produce dandy little hormones called endorphins that lift our moods and make us feel happier.
As a couple of examples of the rate that physical exercise causes us to burn calories, I am including two charts:
Men and women don't burn calories at the same rate. I know that doesn't seem quite fair either, but there you have it.
The one exercise that most people can do and not need any special equipment of place to do it is simply walking. Walking at a brisk pace will just naturally burn more calories during the time that you walk but even walking at a moderate pace serves to burn calories and increases the metabolic rate.
That after dinner walk around the block is better than no walk at all. Any exercise program that you begin should, of course, be approved by your doctor. It isn't wise to begin to exercise after years of being sedentary without first being pronounced fit enough to do so.
All exercise programs need to be started slowly and increased gradually to prevent physical harm or even just muscles that are so sore that you have to skip the exercise altogether.
Exercising with a partner is preferable to exercising along. Get your significant other or your best friend to join you in a walk during lunch or after your evening meal.
Conclusion: Reduced food intake and increased exercise cause weight loss.