Calorie Intake And Weight Loss
People gain weight when the body has more calories than it needs…It’s that simple. If the food you consume is replete with loads of calories than the body needs, the left over so to speak, is converted into fat deposits. So the more fat you have in excess, the obese you will become.
The body is like “mother earth”, it can’t function without energy. Energy is what makes the world go round and without it we will naturally become extinct. As the sun is to earth, so are calories to our bodies. We need energy to survive and we acquire this through food in the form of calories.
Losing weight is a balancing act with calories being the shepherd of the equation. Don’t get me wrong, we all need to have a certain minimum level of fat to stay healthy. Fat insulates the body, provides cushioning and support for bones and muscles, and provides a steady stream of nutrients to steer clear of rapid drops or spikes in blood sugar during times of crisis.
I hear a lot of people say; go on a diet if you want to lose weight. Really? You can take in heaps of grapefruit all you want, that weight will not drop if your intake of calories is not taken into account. Because when push comes to shove, it is the burning of those extra calories you take in through physical activities plus less intake of rich calorie foods and beverages that matter. You can only be on the right track to achieving your weight loss goals, when this equation is well understood. Don’t take my word for it and most importantly consult with your physician and seek support from close ones since you might be faced with predictably petty setbacks that will test your resolve.
So How Many Calories Per Day Is Enough?
There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to that. Gaining weight brings a lot of factors into play and so are calorie intake levels. For some it just runs through the family e.g. genes or family lifestyle. It so happens that the enzymes involved in metabolism, storage and distribution of body energy derived from the food you eat can be inefficient because of your genetic makeup.
So if you come from a family of some level of obesity, it’s more likely you might gain weight in time. The same goes for those from families of sedentary and poor diet habits. For some strange reason, most of the people who fall in this category are quite undisciplined when it comes to controlling how many calories they consume. Appetite suppressants do the trick for them sometimes.
That said, how many calories you take in a day also varies from person to person, age, sex (yes male and female energy intake levels are not the same), basal metabolic rate (BMR), physical activity, and thermal effect of food amongst other factors. It is estimated that an average 2,000 calories is what a person needs in a day, but your body might need less or more.
Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy your body needs to function at rest. These accounts for about 60 to 70 percent of calories burned in a day which includes the energy required to keep the body’s essential organs like the heart, lungs, kidneys functioning and the body temperature stabilized.
The second calories consumer is physical activity. This encompasses everything from taking your bath to having sex. Take up walking if jogging is daunting at first. Lifting, aerobics and just generally moving around burns calories, but the number of calories you burn in any given time and activity depends on your body weight.
Check out some data on calories expended in various physical activities and for various weights. Keep in mind that exercises raise your metabolic rate not only while you’re breathing heavily on the treadmill but continue to burn at a higher level for about two hours after you’ve stopped exercising. Then metabolism returns to its normal pace.
The thermic effect of food is the amount of energy your body uses to digest the food you eat. It takes energy to break down food to its basic elements in order to be absorbed into the body. To calculate the number of calories you expend in this process, multiply the total number of calories you eat in a day by 0.10, or 10 percent. Alternatively you can use a calorie counter calculator.
The benefits of losing weight to stay healthy and in shape are indisputable. The positive aura of self-esteem alone that comes with losing fat is unimaginable, so is the frustration of possible change in food types due to the control of your calorie intake . But I would rather lose weight so I can enjoy a good night’s sleep but not because of the aesthetic smaller clothes that will fit. Not to diminish that aspect of it but the truth is, I would go through all the ‘hassle’ of shedding some weight off because of the fear of dropping dead someday due to fat deposits in my coronary arteries. Hey, I love my family too much and so should you!