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The Math Inside Your Body

 

 

 


Maintaining your body weight is actually a simple math equation of calories in and calories out. But this can be tough in today’s society, which tends to encourage unhealthy living. We are bombarded with many high-calorie food choices. We have become significantly more sedentary than our ancestors. Our bodies are less muscled. Our metabolism is lower. All this makes it harder to keep calorie intake under control and harder to burn stored energy or fat – resulting in weight gain.Whenever you eat something, the food goes in as calories and is converted to stored energy inside your body. If you don't use the stored energy by moving your body, walking, cycling, etc., the "fuel" you ate will be deposited on your body in the form of fat.

Maintaining your body weight is actually a simple math equation of calories in and calories out. But this can be tough in today’s society, which tends to encourage unhealthy living. We are bombarded with many high-calorie food choices. We have become significantly more sedentary than our ancestors. Our bodies are less muscled. Our metabolism is lower. All this makes it harder to keep calorie intake under control and harder to burn stored energy or fat – resulting in weight gain.

 

 

Understanding Your Metabolism

Metabolism is the amount of calories your body burns to maintain itself. It is affected by your body composition (i.e., muscle uses more calories to maintain itself than fat). If you have two women who weigh exactly the same, the woman with a greater percentage of muscle (and lower percentage of body fat) will have a higher metabolism than the woman who is less muscular. Appropriate exercise will help you create a body with more muscle and less fat, resulting in a higher metabolism and a body that uses more calories every day just to sustain itself.

 

Calculating Your Daily Calorie Needs:

Discovering how many calories your body uses in a day, known as your "Daily Energy Expenditure", unlocks the mystery behind weight loss.

To calculate how many calories your body needs in a day, you calculate your basal metabolic rate (the number of calories your body burns while at rest), then determine your daily calorie needs to maintain your current weight.

 

Metabolism — The amount of energy (calories) your body burns to maintain itself. Whether you are eating, drinking, sleeping, walking, cleaning or doing other activities, your body is constantly burning calories to keep you going.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) — The number of calories per day your body burns while at rest, regardless of exercise. It changes with age, weight, height and gender.

Daily Energy Expenditure (DEE) — The number of calories your body needs in a day to maintain your current body weight, based on your age, weight, height, gender and activity level.

Daily Caloric Intake — The number of calories you consume in a day by eating and drinking.

 

 

Applying Daily Calorie Needs to Lose Weight

Successful weight loss is achieved through a combination of eating fewer calories and getting more physical activity. To lose one pound of body weight you need a 3,500 calorie deficit over time (e.g., 500 fewer calories a day for seven days). If you eat fewer calories than daily energy expenditure, you will create that calorie deficit needed to lose weight. If you increase your physical activity level, you have an opportunity to create an even greater calorie deficit.

To safely reduce your caloric intake, lower your calories per day by at least 500, but no more than 1,000, below your calculated daily calorie needs. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that calorie levels never drop below 1,200 calories per day for women or 1,800 calories per day for men, otherwise you risk causing an ongoing reduction in your resting metabolism, making it even more challenging to lose weight.

An alternate way of calculating a safe calorie intake level to lose weight is to reduce your daily calories by 15-20% below your calculated daily calorie needs.

 

 

How to Track Calories Eaten in a Day

To track the total number of calories you consume in a day, simply start by turning around the packages of food you eat and beverages you drink. Find the total number of calories in a serving, check your serving size and then simply multiply the total number of calories per serving by how many servings you eat or drink. You will now have a much better idea of how many calories you have consumed from that one food or beverage. Continue the process throughout the day and at the end of the day you can compare how many calories you have consumed with how many calories your body needs based on your DEE.

 

 

89% of people who lost 30 pounds or more, and kept it off for at least a year, did it only by using the right combination of diet and exercise. In contrast, only 10% succeeded by just dieting and only 1% succeeded by just exercising.

Source: The National Weight Control Registry

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