Your body requires a certain number of calories per day in order to maintain your current weight. This is known as your calorie maintenance level. It's the number of calories required by your body to do everything it needs to do (intense exercise, brushing your teeth, pumping blood, keeping organs functioning properly, etc.). Calories are what our bodies use for energy, so in order to do what needs to be done, a certain number of calories are needed.
As you already know, we supply our bodies with these calories through eating and drinking. If we end up consuming exactly the same number of calories that our bodies need each day, our weight would remain exactly the same. For example, if your calorie maintenance level was 2500 calories, and you consumed 2500 calories per day, your weight would not change. All of the calories you take in would end up getting used (or "burned"). This is how you maintain your weight, by giving your body only the calories that it needs. No more, no less.
However, if you do consume more calories than this maintenance level, your body will store the excess calories as fat. So, for example, if your maintenance level was 2500 calories, and you consumed 3000 calories per day, you would gain weight. You are giving your body more calories than it would end up burning. This is what causes weight gain.
On the other hand, if you do the opposite and give your body less calories than it needs, your body will convert your stored body fat into energy and use that instead. This is what causes weight loss. Sticking with the same example as before, if your daily maintenance level is 2500 calories, and you consume 2000 calories per day, you will lose weight.
Basically, consume the same number of calories that your body needs/burns each day and you maintain your weight. Consume more calories than your body needs/burns and you gain weight. And last but not least... consume fewer calories than your body needs/burns and you lose weight.
These tips are short and sweet and are intended as a starting point or quick reference for individuals seeking to lose weight by using the resources offered on 7rangi.com
- Fibre makes us feel full sooner and stays in our stomach longer than other substances we eat, slowing down our rate of digestion and keeping us feeling full longer. Due to its greater fibre content, a single serving of whole grain bread can be more filling than two servings of white bread. Fibre also moves fat through our digestive system faster so that less of it is absorbed.
- Refined grains like white rice and those used to make white bread and sugary breakfast cereals have had most of their fibre and nutrients stripped away. They turn into blood sugar (glucose) so fast that, like sugar it, they can cause a spike in our insulin level. This tells our body that plenty of energy is readily available and that it should stop burning fat and start storing it. Eating foods with plenty of fibre will help keep our blood sugar at a more consistent level.
- Be careful about sugar in coffee and soda pop. It can add up quickly, and these drinks aren't filling.
- Watch for "hidden" sugar in processed foods like bread, ketchup, salad dressing, canned fruit, applesauce, peanut butter, and soups. And be careful with "fat-free" products. Sugar is often used to replace the flavor that is lost when the fat is removed. Fat-free does not mean calorie-free.
- The greater concern with the insulin spike (above) is not that it tells our body to start storing fat. Whatever we eat and don't burn up eventually gets turned into fat anyway.
- The greater concern is that the insulin spike is followed by a drop in insulin level that leaves us feeling tired and hungry and wanting to eat more. The unfortunate result of this scenario is that it makes us want to eat something else with high sugar content. When we do, we start the cycle all over again.
- Diets entice us with promises of quick weight loss. But focusing on quick weight loss can lead to unhealthy eating and only short term success.
- While most diets produce quick weight loss at the outset, they often cause your metabolism to slow. The result is that you have to eat less and less to keep losing weight. You quickly become discouraged, give up, and start eating like you used to. But now, with a slower metabolism, you regain all the weight you lost, and more
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