How Many Calories to Lose Weight?

Calorie is the measure of energy in a food. Scientifically, one calorie is that amount of energy that is needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree centigrade.

The calorie needs of different people are different. The calories that are derived from our food are needed for the functioning of one's body to keep us living, and for doing other activities.

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Sixty to sixty five percent of the calories one consume are expended for carrying out body functions such as breathing, digesting, blood purification, heart beating, maintaining body temperature, etc. Another ten percent is expended in processing the food that is consumed.

A minimum of 1200 calories per day is required to just keep you living. A lower calorie intake than that will decrease your iron level and lower down your metabolism.

Different people Different calorie needs

Many factors such as one's age, size, gender, weight, height, activity level and the climatic condition of the surrounding environment determines the calorie needs of an individual.

The smaller body size and the warm environmental temperatures make the calorie requirement of those living in tropical climatic conditions lower than that of the same age group of people living in temperate regions.

Similarly, age also has a vital role in determining your calorie needs. A person in his or her mid twenties will have the peak calorie needs of 2300 calories per day. A gradual declination in this amount occurs as your age increases. This decrease in the calorie needs with increasing age is partly accounted to increase in fat accumulation.

Next is the gender factor. Generally men need five to ten percent more calories than women. This is because men have greater percentage of lean muscles in their body. However, pregnant and lactating women need about 300 to 500 more calories each day than what they usually need.

Physical activity is another important factor determining calorie needs of individuals. A person, whose work involves more physical labour, will have higher calorie needs than another who leads of his same age leading a sedentary lifestyle.

Calorie contents of different types of food.

Various kinds of nutrients provide different amounts of calories. Approximately, carbohydrates and proteins contain about four calories per gram of their weight. There are about nine calories in a gram dietary fat, and around seven calories in a gram of alcohol. This obviously shows that a reduction in the intake of foods containing more fat and drinks that are alcoholic will reduce your calorie intake.

Dieting however doesn't mean only consuming low calorie foods. Your diet should also be nutritious on the other hand. A nutritious diet plan will aid in weight loss through various ways.

The first and the foremost way is through your metabolism. Metabolism is the term used to refer the way your body processes and uses the food that you eat. There are a number of minerals and vitamins needed to maintain the efficiency of your metabolism. A proper metabolism will be hampered if your body lacks any of these minerals and vitamins. This will in turn affect your weight loss pattern adversely.

Secondly, a lack in proper nutrition will create problems in digestion. The food that you eat will not be digested and assimilated properly. The digestive system needs nutrition like minerals and vitamins. Besides, it also requires dietary fibre. The gastro intestinal tract, also known as the GI tract is benefitted if your intake of dietary fibre is plenty, as this helps to clean up the tract, and prevent constipation and indigestion related complaints like IBS and diverticulosis.

Here are some other types of food that are related to weight loss and gain.

Empty calorie foods: Empty calorie foods are the worst kind of foods from the nutritional and calorie point of view. These are those drinks and foods that add many calories to your diet, with a little or no nutrition at all. They provide no vitamins, minerals or disease fighting phytochemicals to your body compared to the calories they add. People who are overweight or obese or those who are trying to lose their body weight should avoid empty calorie foods. Energy drinks, carbonated beverages, sweets, regular sodas, soft drinks, candies, etc.

Calorie dense foods: Foods high in fat calories and foods high in both fat and sugar come under the category of calorie dense foods. They include sausages, butter, mayonnaise, full fat cheese, white flour muffins, certain types of commercial popcorn, rich bread snacks, candies, etc. Calorie dense foods are usually processed foods. They are not recommended for those anticipating to lose their weight.

Negative calorie foods: Negative calorie foods are those foods that burn more calories for their processing than what they actually contain. The calories that these foods contain pose much resistance and your system has to apply much energy to break them down. This provides these foods with a natural and ample fat burning ability. Consume these foods in order to lose weight fast. Asparagus, celery, lettuce, onions, papayas, spinach, turnip, cucumbers, chili peppers, green cabbage, broccoli, carrots, beets, mangoes, cauliflower, garlic, zucchini, pineapple, oranges, raspberries, strawberries, grapefruit, cranberries, lemons, apples, tangerines, etc are negative calorie foods.

Fat burning foods: There are certain foods that help you in many different ways each in burning down your body fat fast. Examples of such kind of foods are avocados, olives, green tea, ice cold water, chillies, spinach, eggs, baby potatoes, sweet potatoes, cinnamon, almonds, seeded breads, oily fishes, oat meal, whole wheat pasta, beans, pulses, etc.

In order to have the best kind of weight loss through calorie control, include all groups of foods in your daily diet. Include even fats, but the right kind of fats like the poly unsaturated and monounsaturated foods. Aim to lose not more than 2 pounds of your body fat per week. Don't cause a complete calorie control that is relied entirely on your diet. Burn about fifty percent of the calories that you want to cut from your daily intake through exercises. Exercises will not only help you lose weight, but also shape and tone you up!

How Many Calories to Lose Weight?

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