The Human Body
One pound of body fat stores up to 3500 calories. In a hypothetical case, you are metabolizing 2000 calories; if you stopped eating you could lose roughly a pound of weight in two days. The reason why you cannot simply terminate calorie intake must be considered, the body's actual functions are far more complex than most dieters recognize. The human body will shed a pound of muscle at the same rate for every pound of body fat. The reason behind this dates back to our ancient ancestors, hunters and gatherers. The human body is designed to lose muscle mass in an event of starvation.
This is an internal safety mechanism that increases the human life span in case of famine. The genetic goal of the human body is to burn fewer calories, own less muscle mass, and have more body fat in case of famine. This is the way we have survived for thousands of years.
So now you're wondering how do you avoid weight rebound? In order to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume. Yet, if you don't consume enough calories you know that you will lose muscle and increase you chances of future weight rebound. According to research, the key to limiting loss of muscle is to put your body in the correct calorie deficit. First find the amount of calories you burn daily using the maintenance method.
Logging Your Life
Logging your activities and all calories eaten for two weeks does this method. At the end of two weeks and only if your weight has remained the same (maintenance), you have a good idea of the calories you are burning daily. This is the amount of calories you need to maintain your current weight. To lose weight you should lower your calories 250-1000 below your maintenance level. If you drop your calories lower than 1000 you are at a high likely hood of losing lean body mass (muscle).
Current research also suggests that a healthy way to maintain a reasonable weight (and this varies per person) is a combination of a healthy diet with a fitness program. Diet is a popular method, as discussed above, and there are many programs to choose from. While diet (restricting intake) is one method, it should be used in conjunction with physical activities. Activities such as running, walking, lifting weights, swimming, are some of the more common methods people use.
Rather than rely on crash dieting, fad dieting, and over-zealous fitness programs, a person would be wise to follow a moderate program that they maintain over time. Remember, the longer you can maintain your fitness program the longer you can maintain your new health.
Calculate the number of calories you burn for 158 activities. Fill in your weight and the average amount of time you spend working out. We'll do the math and return an activities page personalized just for you. Print the activities page using the print function on your web browser and keep it with your exercise log or tape it on the refrigerator for reference. It's a great reminder of all the various activities you can participate in and use for cross-training to stay active and healthy!
If you use the metric system, calculate your weight to pounds by multiplying your weight in kilograms by 2.2 (i.e., 60 kg x 2.2 = 132 lbs)
Duration (in min.):
Nutrition Concepts and Controversies. West Publishing Company: New York, 1978.
Mattfeldt-Beman, Mildred. Corrigan, Sheila A. Stevens, Victor J. Sugars, Carolyn P. Dalcin, Arlene T. Givi, M. John. Copeland, Karen C. Journal of the American Dietetic Association Jan. 1999: v99 il p66(6).
"The Secret of High-protein diets; what you need to know before you give up pasta (includes evaluations of popular high-protein diets)." Prevention June 1997: v49 n6 p85(7).
Whitney, Eleanor Noss., III, et al, Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition. New York: West Publishing Company 1991.