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Calories and Energy The Simple Guide To Weight-Loss Or Weight Gain

Updated on June 30, 2011

Calories And Energy The Road To Weight-Gain/Weight-Loss

A Calorie is a measurement of the amount of energy contained in food and by weight different kinds of food contain different amounts of calories.

Proteins and carbohydrates contain approximately 4 calories per gram, and fat 9 calories.

Fats are obviously the most efficient fuel when it comes to caloric density, but this also makes them undesirable if you are on a low-calorie program for weight control or reduction.

If you take in more calories than the body can burn off, the excess is stored in the form of fat and usually in areas you don't want the fat like your buttocks, hips and thighs....not unless your trying to make your buttocks bigger.

It doesn't matter whether the excess is in the form of protein, carbohydrate, or fat-the body breaks it down and stores it against a time when the body will require more energy than provided by food intake. At this point, the fat in the adipose cells will be retrieved and metabolized to make up the difference.

if your body has all of the nutrients it needs to function optimally, and if you are eating at least the minimum quantity of the various foods required at any given time by your digestive and energy-producing systems, fat gain and fat loss is a matter of simple arithmetic:

Eating 3,500 calories more than you need = 1 pound of fat gained

Eating 3,500 calories less than you need = 1 pound of fat lost

Quite simple right?

But most diets and or weight gain programs unfortunately do not take these factors into consideration.

So what can happen is a number of undesirable things:

1. The body can begin to metabolize muscle tissue.

2. The body's ability to metabolize fat can be impaired.

3. Various vitamin or mineral deficiencies can occur.

4. The energy output of the body can be impaired.

5. A number of physicals and psychological symptoms can be experienced.

Because of the possibility that these problems can occur, any diet regimen (whether for weight gain or weight loss has to take into account the body's need for certain nutritional minimums and fat for a relative balance of various foods in the daily food intake. The latter is usually referred to as a "balanced diet."


Exercise and Energy Expenditure

Your body burns up calories in two basic ways: in basal metabolism, the energy it takes to maintain life over a period of time; and in physical activity.

Your basal metabolism, or resting metabolic rate (RMR), is related to how much muscle mass you have. The more lean your body mass, the higher your RMR. The formula to calculate this is:

Lean body mass pounds ÷ 2.205 × 30.4

By this reckoning, a person with a lean body mass of 150 pounds would have an RMR of about 2,100 calories, while a 250-pounds individual would burn up about 3,500 calories, irrespective of vigorous exercise.

Obviously, this means that the larger person has to eat a lot more to maintain body weight and can lose weight on a diet that would be fattening for the smaller one.

The amount of calories you burn when exercising depends on the kind of activity you are engaged in. The more weight you move-whether your own body weight or a barbell-the more energy it takes.

Here are examples of the energy expenditure of various types of exercises:

Sitting- 72-84 calories burned per hour.

Walking (3mph)- 240-300 calories burned per hour.

Cycling (10mph)- 360-420 calories burned per hour.

Jogging (5mph)- 420-480 calories burned per hour.

Running (5.5 mph)- 600-660 calories burned per hour.

The energy expenditure of bodybuilding is largely determined on how intense the training is. When you lift heavy weights and take long rest periods between sets, you burn relatively few calories. When you train continuously, going from one set to another, one exercise to another, with very little rest, you burn considerable calories over the one and a half or two hours of your workout.

However, if you have noticed from the tables above that aerobic exercise such as running is the most efficient for burning up calories and speeding up the process of metabolizing body fat.

Running for a half hour everyday will result in loss of at-least a pound of fat every ten days in addition to the weight loss obtained by dieting and other kinds of training.

If you're currently on the search for weight loss programs, you'll need to consider a variety of things. All weight loss programs are not created equally; some will have a much higher rate of success than others.


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    • FatMan911 profile image

      FatMan911 8 years ago from Florida

      Weight loss is hard, it's not always about food but the reasons why we eat. I'm a morbidly obese man who has struggled with his weight all his life, I'm presently on a 90 fast to start my weight loss program.

    • twill4jc profile image

      twill4jc 8 years ago

      Thank u, I hope it help get you to the place you wanna get to in your weight-loss/weight-gain goals.

    • Gicky Soriano profile image

      Gicky Soriano 8 years ago from California

      A very helpful hub! Especially the Exercise and Energy Expediture section. Thanks you.

    • twill4jc profile image

      twill4jc 8 years ago

      For real, i did not know that. Thank you, im going to have to check into that. By the way, ive been praying for ya!

    • profile image

      Sciantel 8 years ago

      Apple cider vinegar pills have been a great addition to helping the body burn fat. It also is good to cleanse the system. I have been taking them for years and never have my weight ave over what I should normally weigh..