In Dieting, a Calorie is a Calorie is a Calorie

In Dieting, a Calorie is a Calorie is a Calorie

The magic number to consider when forming a diet plan for weight loss or gain is 3,500. That is the amount of calories in one pound.

There are three ways to achieve your goal for the most favorable outcome. One way is to eliminate or add 500 calories a day from your diet depending if you want to loose or gain weight. This will net you one pound of weight loss or gain each week. Second, you can add 500 calories worth of exercise each day to lose the weight. Though this method would be ideal, most are not motivated enough to increase activity levels to this level to lose weight. This would equate to walking or running over five miles a day. However, the person trying to gain weight may find this alternative attractive. Doing less or no aerobic activity and concentrating on strength training with very heavy weights would work to build muscle mass and increase weight with less work.

The third way is the best, it eliminates extremes from both ends of the equation. Cut the diet by 250 calories a day for weight loss and the opposite for weight gain while increasing or decreasing activities by 250 calories a day. This is done easily with simple modifications of the diet such as eliminating one or two soda pops and walking a few miles extra a day. The weight gain subject can add a protein drink or two and decrease aerobic activities by half.

Calorie Use for the Average Individual

Most individuals are in a state of weight gain when they go on a diet. They have been steadily gaining weight over time. The first step is to stabilize your weight by learning how many calories a day your body will use on a day to day basis. This is normally lean body weight times 11. Looking at a weight chart to determine calorie needs is not enough, as everyone uses calories at a different rate determined by lean body weight and body type. To determine your lean body weight you must first determine your body fat percentage. This can be done by a local personal trainer or health club. Scales which determine body fat percentage can be off by as much as eight per cent. Using calipers or special equipment at your local gym is the only way to get a good measurement.

Once you know your body fat percentage, multiply body fat percentage times your total weight. This is your lean weight measurement. Multiply the lean body weight number times 11 and add 500 calories for the average person’s daily activities plus add additional calories for exercise activities. From this number you either minus or add 500 calories for the weight loss or gain diet. This is the number of calories for the average individual.

Body Type Considerations for Calorie Needs

Body type is one other aspect that must be taken into consideration when determining daily calorie needs. There are three body types and all three use calories at a different rate. The ectomorph uses calories at a very high rate. They need more calories each day to satisfy calorie needs. This group is usually a person who has trouble gaining weight. The mesomorph is the second body type and they are the average individual. They gain weight because they eat too much. Put them on a good diet and exercise routine and they will turn things around easily. The endomorph is the third body type. This group generally gains weight easily and loses slowly. They have been on many diets with very little success. They are discouraged and need to keep their nose to the grindstone if they are to achieve successful weight loss. This group has a slow metabolism. Instead of adding 500 calories for daily activities, this group may be only able to add 0 to 250. However, never go below 1200 calories a day or lean body requirements as this will further decrease metabolism. In the case of the endomorph, increases in exercise activity is the way to a successful diet.

Categories: Diet, Health, Nutrition, Weight Loss