Most of us are of the opinion that to lose weight we need to reduce our calorie intake, in fact the opposite is true. If we take a look at the way fat is burned up within the body, we realise that by reducing calorie intake, we are in fact encouraging our body to store fat as a preservation measure. The way to keep a healthy balance of fat burning and weight loss, is actually to eat more calories, not less.
When our calorie intake is too low, our body will not only begin to burn up excess stored fat, but also begin to metabolise lean muscle mass. This can result in a wasting effect on the muscle mass, as our body diverts energy into keeping our vital organs such as heart, brain, kidneys and lungs all functioning.
By reducing our calorie intake too much we are in danger of slowing down our fat burning metabolism. In doing this we will in fact lose weight at a much slower pace, as the rate of fat burning is so much slower. If we consume a realistic amount of calories for our bodily needs, the better our metabolism and weight loss will be. Having stated these facts, we have to be aware that we cannot just eat indiscriminately. We have to reach a healthy, realistic and sensible balance, which can vary in many ways from person to person.
- What weight are we?
Depending on our weight, we have to calculate our daily calorific requirements. The higher our weight, the more daily calories our body will require.
- How fit and active are we?
If we lead a physically active life, whether in our employment or are generally very active, then we will require more calories to maintain enough sustenance for our bodily needs. This will help effect maximum fat burning capabilities within our body.
- Do we want a fast or slow rate of weight loss?
It is possible to lose weight rapidly of course, but usually it does not have a long term success rate and really should not be done without medical supervision. A higher and safer successful weight loss rate is achievable by taking the much slower and steadier pace. This way is much better suited to our metabolism and is much more beneficial to our health and well being.
- Basic calorie intake guide line.
To remain at a constant weight we can calculate our necessary calories by multiplying our current weight by 10. (A weight of 240 pounds would need 2400 calories per day to maintain the same weight of 240 pounds)
By reducing our daily calories sensibly, perhaps 500 per day, we may reduce our weight by up to 1 pound per week. If we also embark on a regular exercise programme, we can burn up more calories, therefore increasing our weight loss over the week. We can see how beneficial it is to not only cut back on calories but also exercise to achieve maximum results.
Many other factors can have a direct effect on our weight loss. Many of us may suffer with water retention, often connected with hormonal changes in our body.
Certain medication can affect weight loss, as can the over use of sodium in our diet. All these factors can cause fluctuation in our weekly weight loss, but it should balance out over the course of each month.
Our main aim should be to ingest as many calories as our body needs to function efficiently, without compromising our health and well being. There is no need to drastically reduce calorie intake, we need to keep our fat burning capabilities to the maximum level, which will be impaired if we cut our calorie intake too much. In conjunction with a consistent calorie intake, exercise adds a bonus boost to our ability to burn fat, enabling us to maintain a regular, steady, safe weight loss.
When considering our calorie intake we should opt for healthy, nutritious fresh foods. Increasing our calorie intake does not equate to eating junk food or any foods that will have no nutritional value to our body. Our extra calorie intake should take the form of fresh fruit, vegetables, lean protein and whole grain. By following these simple suggestions, we can re-programme our eating habits and achieve a healthy weight loss and an increased feeling of well being.