How Much Protein Should A Woman Eat To Lose Weight The Truth About Losing Weight

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The Truth About Losing Weight

Thousands of articles are written on how to lose weight every year, and each of them suggests a different way to go about it. The truth, however, is that any excess weight you may have is related to the number of calories you take in and the number you consume each day. It’s that simple and no one can prove otherwise. It’s like the gasoline you put in your car: you put so much and you travel so far. In the case of your body, you eat a certain amount of food and it sustains you for a certain amount of time. If you eat more than you use, the excess calories are stored as fat.

Let’s take a detailed look at the calories you take in and consume each day. As it turns out, there are three main types of calories burned. The former is referred to as the basal metabolic rate or BMR. It’s the largest of the three, and it’s your resting metabolism; in other words, it’s the number of calories you burn when you’re just sitting. It is used to fuel cells, keep the heart beating, lungs functioning, brain functioning and so on. About 60 to 80 percent of the total calories burned each day are BMR calories.

The second largest calorie burn comes from the thermionic effect of eating. It might sound a little strange, but it takes calories to burn calories, in other words to digest food. Protein needs about 25 calories for every 100 calories consumed, while carbohydrates and fat need 10 to 15 calories for every 100 calories consumed. And that can add up to a substantial number of calories. It accounts for between 10 and 30 percent of total calories burned each day.

Finally we come to what may surprise you, namely exercise and general body movement. Most people think that exercise is a big contributor, but that’s not the case. That doesn’t mean it’s not important: it is. You can easily burn 500 calories in one intensive workout, but in general, for most people, exercise and body movement only accounts for about 10-15 percent of the calories burned in a day.

Now let’s apply the above to a typical woman and man. First of all we need the BMR formulas, and they are as follows:

Adult Male: 66+ (6.3 times your body weight in pounds) + (12.9 times your height in inches) – (6.8 times your age in years).

Adult female: 655 + (4.3 times your weight in pounds) + (4.7 times your height in inches) – (4.7 times your age in years).

For example, let’s say you’re a 40-year-old female who weighs 140 pounds and is six feet tall. Substituting in the appropriate numbers we find that your BMR is 1360. For your thermionic calories we multiply .15 times the total number of calories you consumed during the day. Suppose it was 1900; your thermionic calories are therefore 285. The contribution of exercise and body movement is a little more difficult to determine exactly, as it depends on how hard and for how long you exercised during the day. Let’s say you didn’t work out; in this case your contribution is probably around 200 calories. And that gives you a grand total of 1845 calories.

If you consumed 1900 calories during the day, you have taken in an excess of 55 calories. It doesn’t sound like much, but in two months (if you do it every day) you’ll be making a pound and in a year you’ll be making 6 pounds. (I’m using the fact that there are 3500 calories in a pound here.)

We do the same thing for a 40-year-old 6-foot man weighing 170 pounds. Substituting into our formula BMR we get 1793. In this case we will assume a caloric intake of 2600; multiplying it by 0.15 gives 390 for his thermionic calories. For exercise and body movement let’s assume he uses up 300 calories (this means he didn’t exercise during the day). So his grand total is 2483, and if he consumed 2600 calories during the day, he would have an excess of 117 calories. This will add up to a pound of weight every 30 days and about 12 pounds in a year.

It’s easy to see from this that weight gain can slip on you if you’re not careful. Even a few extra calories each day can lead to noticeable weight gain over the course of the year. The best way to keep tabs on how you’re balancing calories in and calories out is, of course, to weigh yourself every once in a while, and if you see that you’re gradually gaining weight you should take steps to change that as soon as possible. You will need to reduce your calorie intake slightly or exercise more. And I’d like to point out that while exercise doesn’t seem to make a big contribution to the overall calories we consume in a day, it can be very important. As mentioned above, a good workout can consume up to 500 calories and this could easily offset any excesses you may have.

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