Calories Burned Vs. Actual Weight Loss


Weight loss does is not based on a 1-to-1 ratio to calories lost. However, weight gain is related to consuming too many calories that are not burned off in daily activity. Unlike vitamins or protein, the surplus doesn't go away. It gets stored in your body. As a result, you gain weight and fat.

The Simple Formula That is Hard to Practice

  • Consuming more calories than needed per day will result in excess. Unlike vitamins and minerals, foods that are high in caloric intake go to reserves in the body, better known as fat. The more fat stored, the more weight gain occurs. So the trick is to understand the body is an engine that must have less fuel than what it takes to run, at least if weight loss is the goal. By burning more calories than consumed in a day, the body will then take the necessary difference from reserves. Weight loss is the related result.

Metabolism: Food Conversion to Energy

  • Your metabolic process is the engine that burns up calories. Those calories are drawn from what you consume. This engine is always running, even when you are resting or sleeping. The body needs energy to keep core systems functioning, heated and healthy. Even with no active exercise, the body will still burn a base level of calories every day. However, in terms of food, this translates to a very small meal per day at best.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

  • The amount of caloric energy the body burns is measured by the BMR. This is a critical formula to understand how to lose weight. It has to be adjusted for each individual, since results vary due to body shape, gender and age. The BMR is stable and doesn't change much day to day, representing something close to three-fourths of the calorie-burning you will do in a day.

    The remaining 25 to 30 percent of caloric consumption above the BMR is what you can control. This is driven by your food digestion and physical activity.

Physical Activity Benefits

  • The more activity one does, generally, the more the metabolism or digestion increases in capacity. The body is trying to make up for the increased demand, so it wants more fuel or food. At this juncture, you can produce weight loss. Again, the more calories burned, the higher the demand, and the body will pull from itself if not fed additional food. So while calories counted don't really matter much if you overeat afterward, they matter a lot if you work out aggressively and then eat a minimal amount.

    Among the activities that work best for high-calorie burn, aerobic exercise is the best. This is represented by motion activity such as running, jogging, walking, swimming and jumping. Thirty minutes a day is the minimum needed to have some kind of caloric burn effect in the body.

    Strength training or anaerobic exercises are beneficial, but they don't contribute to direct caloric burn immediately. Instead, by increasing muscle mass, you will burn more calories later when you do perform aerobic exercise with bigger muscle fiber. So the benefit of weight lifting, for example, is indirect.

Calories on the Treadmill Mean Nothing

  • Don't be misled by the exercise-machine statistics. Too often calorie-counting leads to disappointment when compared to the scale or mirror. Again, this is because the food consumption formula is forgotten. A typical candy bar has 180 calories in it, so it doesn't take much to wipe out gains from 30 minutes of exercising. Actual weight loss will occur when you have reversed the calorie formula to burn more overall than you eat daily.

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