How Much Does Calorie Intake Influence Weight?
Does your calorie intake really matter when it comes to weight loss? Some would say yes, but others would say no. Remember that not every person is the same. We are all different and have different dietary needs. But there are a few things that hold true universally - you have to eat the right kinds of foods!
First, you must consider your basal metabolic rate, which is called your BMR and is defined as the minimum energy your body requires to stay alive. You are resting, yet your body is working very hard to stay alive.
You breathe, you digest, you circulate blood, you think, you scratch. All these activities take fuel on a cellular level, yet we hardly ever think about them because they are autonomic activities. These cellular activities all contribute to your Basal Metabolic Rate. (BMR)
What is Your Calorie Intake?
For most women, your daily calorie RDA, (Recommended Daily Allowance), is around 1000-1200 calories per day. For men, its around 1500+. That's how many calories your body requires to stay alive.
You’ll need to add more calories to power additional activities that you do. Combine everything you do, from typing to shopping to bicycling, and you’ll have the total number of calories you require each day.
All of these activities require energy to perform. If you are underactive during the day you’ll need fewer calories per day than an overactive person would.
Calorie intake must equal calories output!
That’s the basic formula for NOT gaining weight but clearly not all calories are created equal and your hormones also influence your weight too!
Remember, that a calorie is simply a unit of energy. The calories that aren’t burned off may be stored as FAT. If you burn more calories than you take in however, stored fat has to be burned to provide energy and you should lose weight.
So it would seem that the way to lose weight as we get older is to cut back on calorie intake. Seems simple, right?
Frankly, its not quite that simple!
Lets suppose you like plain celery sticks.
Now lets suppose you are on a diet. You eat LOTS of celery sticks every day for a week but don’t lose a pound. You shake your head and can't figure out why not? I mean, C'Mon! You ate minimally all week long, starving to death eating lots of celery sticks. What gives?
The problem is
that your body doesn’t know you’re on a diet. It thinks you are starving to death, so its holding onto your fat in a fight for YOUR LIFE!
Your body is used to chips and fries, but you aren’t giving it chips and fries. You are feeding it celery and your body clearly wants more food! Your metabolism stops in place. There is no fat burning at all!
Very low calorie intake diets
can decrease your basal metabolic rate by 15 - 30 percent. That's why starvation diets don't work.
In fact, low calories make weight loss next to impossible! (A very low calorie diet is considered to be 600 calories or less a day.) Your body will be trying to save you from starving to death and instead of burning fat, it will look for an alternate energy source and start to burn muscle, which is not a desired response.
Then when you stop dieting and start eating regularly, your basal metabolism does NOT return to normal either because your body thinks there might be another 'famine' coming. So any calories you take in, your body holds onto, preserves, and stores. Then you gain even more weight!
Many people actually PREVENT long term weight loss by going on a diet, so avoid them at all costs! Also, if you cut calories without knowing what kind of calories you’re cutting, you’re making another mistake.
One gram of FAT contains twice as many calories as one gram of carbohydrates. However as I mentioned, not all calories are created equal in your body!
The most straightforward way to look at this is to decrease junk food across the board. You're much better off NOT counting calories but eating a balanced diet
. It is clear that people on low-fat diets must be calorie restricted in order to lose weight, while people eating low-carb (and high fat and protein) can usually eat until they feel satisfied and still take weight off.
Studies clearly show that the low-carb diet decreases appetite and makes people lose weight without having to control portions or count calories.
In these studies, researchers actively restricted calories in the low-fat groups to make the results comparable. However, the low-carb dieters
still lost more weight.
We all need fat and protein and to effectively lose weight. Don't worry so much about your calorie intake
and keep your focus on eating the right foods! Make sense?
Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.
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