A basic understanding of how calories work is essential for a successful and safe weight loss. Calories are obtained from food sources (i.e. carbohydrate, fat, protein) and serve as fuel for the body to carry out vital functions like breathing, eating, and sleeping. In addition, calories fuel all types of physical activity from taking a shower to strenuous exercise.
There are 3,500 calories in one pound of fat; therefore, if 3,500 calories are accumulated within the body over a given period of time, a calorie surplus occurs resulting in a net weight gain of one pound. On the flip side, if 3,500 calories are expended over a given period of time through physical activity, a calorie deficit occurs resulting in a net weight loss of one pound. When the amount of calories consumed from food sources is equal to the amount of calories expended through physical activity, no weight gain or weight loss occurs.
In order to lose weight the amount of calories expended must continue to exceed the amount of calories consumed until the desired weight loss is achieved. Once this occurs, the amount of calories expended must continue to equal the amount of calories consumed in order to maintain the desired weight, indefinitely. It’s as simple as that.
Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a physician for advice.
Before starting an exercise training program you should first make sure that exercise is safe for you. If you are under the age of 55 years and generally in good health, it is probably safe for you to exercise. However, if you are over 55 years of age and/or have any health problems, be sure to consult with your physician before starting an exercise training program.
Written by Nina Cherie Franklin