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Weight Control Basics

There are thousands of weight control plans, pills, and gimmicks, yet the obesity rate in the United States continues to climb. Many Americans buy into ineffective diet and exercise plans because they are not aware of the facts behind losing weight.

Successful weight control is more likely if you have a basic understanding of what is required to gain and lose weight. Here are some of the undeniable truths about foods and energy requirements.

How Many Calories Must Be Reduced to Lose a Pound?

To maintain body weight, you need to take in about as many calories as you use up. If your intake is out of balance with your energy requirements by 3500 calories, you gain or lose a pound of fat.

It takes time to gain fat weight, just as it takes time to lose it. A safe guideline for fat loss is to reduce your intake by 500 calories per day to lose 1 lb. of body fat per week.

How Many Calories Are in Food Components?

Your body requires certain food substances to maintain healthy function. Reducing the amount of calories, particularly from fat, while increasing your activity level through exercise and weight training can help you lose weight safely. Here are the food components and the calories they offer per gram:

*Carbohydrates from foods such as fruits, vegetables, and pasta give you quick energy. They yield about 4 calories per gram.

*Fats from foods such as red meats, butter, and egg yolks are needed for stored energy and insulation. They yield about 9 calories per gram.

*Proteins from foods such as milk, fish, and egg whites help build and maintain body tissue, including muscles. They yield about 4 calories per gram.

*Ethyl alcohol (the drinking type) yields about 7 calories per gram.

Maintaining the right balance of foods, reducing fat intake, and increasing your energy expenditure are the best way to go to lose weight. And once you get to your desired weight, stick with your healthy routine and monitor your intake. It’s all about balance.

Weight training offers many benefits for healthy weight loss, but be sure to take in enough protein to help build muscles while you reduce fat.

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