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   Diet and Weight Loss: Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

All FAQs have been classified into the following areas:

Calories
Diets
Diet and Weight Loss Aids
Food
Your Body
Water, Vitamins and Smoking
Calories Burned, BMI, BMR & RMR Calculator
Food Calories & Nutrition Calculator

Calories

1. What are calories and kilojoules?
  Calories and kilojoules define the energy value of food. Depending on the country we live in, the nutrition data will be provided in calories [kcal] or kilojoules [kj]. Calories are the amount of chemical energy released as heat when food is metabolized. A killojoule is a unit of electrical energy used in physical sciences equal to the work done when a current of one ampere is passed through a resistance of one ohm for one second.

1 calorie = 4.2 kilojoules

So, if a portion of food contains 100 calories, multiply it with 4.2 kilojoules to work out how many kilojoules it has. It totals to 420-kilojoules.The balance between our energy intake and the total calories burned denote the level of weight gain or weight loss. Too many kilojoules taken means too much body fat on you and fewer kilojoules eaten indicate lesser fat accumulated. Though we use large numbers when working with metric kilojoules, it does not mean that kilojoules contain more energy. It is only a different system used to express energy content
2. How many calories are there in a pound of body fat?
  There are 3500 calories per pound of body fat. In order to lose the stored pound of body fat you need to lose 3500 extra calories. Therefore, if the daily calorie intake is reduced by 500 less than what the body requires, the stored up fat has to be utilized for energy. Since the energy mechanism is complex energy, requirements can vary for individuals.

The fitness level, motivation levels, present energy stores, exercises, nutritional levels and genetic predisposition determines the energy requirements of the body. A low calorie diet can be the simplest form of dieting to burn up some of the calories.
3. How many calories are there in a gram of food?
 
Food Source Calories kilojoules
Protein 4 16.7
Fat 9 37.7
Carbohydrate 4 16.7

There are 3500 calories per pound of body fat. In order to lose the stored pound of body fat you need to lose 3500 extra calories. Therefore, if the daily calorie intake is reduced by 500 less than what the body requires, the stored up fat has to be utilized for energy. Since the energy mechanism is complex energy, requirements can vary for individuals.

Each gram of fat consumed provides more than twice as many calories as a protein or carbohydrate. A gram of fat is equal to 9 calories. 3500/9 = 389. It would conclude that there are 389 grams in one pound. But there are 454 grams. The adipose tissue has other elements like connective tissue, water and protein. And the nutritional analysis of food given is pure.
On another approach, 3500/454=7.7 calories. Here a gram of body fat contains 7.7 calories where as 9 calories are found in pure fat. The difference comes when we consider the body fat containing water, which has no calories.
In order to avoid the confusion, it is easy to use 3500 calories per pound figure when dealing with fat burned by activity. And when dealing with the nutrient content of food, use 9 calories per gram figure.
4. How many calories do I need?
  The basal metabolic rate, energy expended during physical activity and the thermic effect of food are the three components, which make up the body's energy expenditure. Adding these would accurately tell you the calorie requirement for your body each day.
  BMR [Basal Metabolic Rate]: About 60-70% of the body's energy supports the ongoing metabolic work of body's cells. It includes maintaining body temperature, respiration and heart beat.
  For males: You have to multiply the body weight by 10. Then add double the body weight to this value.
  For females: You have to multiply body weight by 10 and add the body weight to this value.
  Energy spent during physical activities: It contributes to about 20- 30% of energy outputs.
  Thermic effect of food: The energy required to digest food is referred to as TEF. TEF= total kilo calories consumed multiplied by 10%.
  Easy way
Using your current weight and the type of activities you follow, estimate the calories you would burn in a day:
  Total 2088 calories in 24 hours
Female 25. 5'2, 120lb: BMI=21.9, BMR=1, 350, RMR-1,243
 
Activities Time Calories
Sleeping 8 hours 392 calories
Offive Works 8 hours 653 calories
Driving 1 hour 109 calories
Food Preparation 1 hour 136 calories
Eating, Sitting 1 hour 82 calories
Shower 30 minutes 54 calories
Cleaning 30 minutes 82 calories
Shopping 30 minutes 63 calories
Walking 30 minutes 82 calories
Running 6mph 30 minutes 272 calories
Dressing 30 minutes 54 calories
Watching TV 2 hour 109 calories
  When calculating the amount of calories you need in a day, do not add your BMR or RMR as they are needed only to calculate the calories burned during the period.
5. What is the Thermic effect of food?
  Commonly known as thermic effect, it is the increment in energy expenditure above resting metabolic rate due to the cost of processing food for storage and use. In simple terms, it is the energy expended by our body in order to eat and digest. We expend energy by burning calories. The common number to estimate the extent of thermic effect of food is 10% of caloric intake of a given time period. However, there will be variations in the effects due to difference in the food components.
  Dietary fat has little thermic effect. Therefore, it is very easy to process. Protein is difficult and it has a larger thermic effect.
  Raw celery and grape fruit take more energy than what is contained in the food, to digest.
  Aerobic training and anaerobic weight training can increase the thermic effect of food.
 



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