Weight loss (and weight gain, for that matter) is primarily an issue of calories; how many you consume and how many you expand. If the number of calories you eat and the number of calories you use each day are approximately the same, you weight won’t budge. It’s only when you consume fewer calories than you use over a period of time that you will lose weight and it’s only when you eat more calories than you use that you will gain weight.
So what number of calories are we talking about? This is the crucial equation; one pound of body weight is equal to 3,500 calories. This means that to lose one pound, you must create a 3,500 calories-short by eating fewer calories, burning more calories through physical activity, or a combination of both. The exact opposite is true for weight gain, sounds little a lot, doesn’t it? But it’s not really. Gaining a pound is as easy as eating an extra 250 calories a day (for instance, any of these; one chocolate bar, 1 bottle soft drink, half a doughnut) for two weeks or skipping a daily workout without cutting back on eating.
A calorie is a calorie, whether it comes from protein, fat or carbohydrate (But there are good calories and bad calories). Any calorie eaten that your body doesn’t burn for energy are stored as body fat. No matter what kind of food package they came in.
There are a few other factors, in addition to calories, that influence your weight. They are your age, your gender, and your genetic blue print. The one that matter most is your food intake and physical activity, so focus on these areas:
Here’s where the calories you eat come from. All are nutrients except alcohol, which provides only calories but no nutrients
l 1 gram of protein provides 4 calories
l 1 gram of fat provides 9 calories
l 1 gram of carbohydrate provides 4 calories
l 1 gram of alcohol provides 7 calories
Although you may be anxious to lose weight as possible, be careful not to reduce your daily calorie intake so much that you jeopardize your health. Women should not take in less than 1,200 calories a day while on a weight loss programme while men should get no less than 1,800 calories a day (on a weight loss programme). It is hard to get all the vitamins and minerals you need each day when you reduce your intake below these amounts.
Infact, it’s still difficult even at these calorie levels, so consider taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement. If you boost your physical activity level at the same time that you reduce calories, you’ll be able to take in a healthy and more satisfying number of calories while still losing weight.
The following are approximate calorie per potion of some of foods we eat.