Wednesday, May 19, 2010

3500 calories

Yesterday I mentioned that you need a deficit of 3500 calories to lose 1 pound of fat. So what exactly does that mean?
Everyone has a unique daily recommended calorie intake. This is based on age, weight, activity level and whether you are male or female.  Lets say your daily recommened intake is 1500 calories.
This is how many calories you need to eat in order to maintain your weight.
So lets say you eat 2000 calories a day, and burn 500 calories a day at the gym. Your net intake equals your recommended intake and you will maintain your current weight.
If you eat 2000 calories a day and burn 700 calories exercising every day after 7 days you will have a deficit of 4900 calories, or 1.4 pounds.
If you eat 2000 calories a day and don't exercise at all you will be in excess 500 calories each day. After 7 days you will have accumulated 3500 calories or 1 pound of fat.
How exactly do excess calories become jiggly thighs?
Anytime you have an excess of any food group - carbs, protein or fat - the body coverts it to fat and stores it in your adipose (fat) tissue.
So the trick is to not consistently take in more calories than you need.

Trying to lose a bit of weight? Don't fall for the latest fad/product/diet ect that promises "lose 7lbs in 7 days" - instead aim for slow and stead. A deficit of about 500 calories a day is a safe number to aim for. Try to cut out 250 calories a day from food, and burn 250 extra calories a day through exercise.
Trying to gain a bit of weight? Increase calorie intake through complex carbohydrates (ie. whole grains, fruit and vegetables), lean proteins (chicken, turkey, salmon, tofu), and unsaturated fat (ie avacados, salmon, almonds).  Avoid the unhealthy versions like simple sugars (ie. white sugar, white rice, and white bread), too much red meat or cured meats (ie. deli meat, bacon, steak), and saturated fat and avoid Trans Fat whenever possible.

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