Monday, 17 February 2014

Healthy Habits for a Fit Family

As I have indicated, the solution to routine weight loss is simple, uncommonly common, and it works for both individuals and families. It is not hype; it is not “new”; it is not a “secret.” It is the only fat-loss regimen that has been rigorously tested and survives intact today because it is based on valid science, not marketing. So what do you have to do to lose weight? Actually, a better question is, what do you have to do to lose extra body fat? You will see the difference shortly.

Weight Loss 101

The first step to fat control is to honestly examine what you Simple math can tell you the calorie content of any food if you know the amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrate in the food. You simply multiply the number of grams by the number of calories in a gram of that food component. For example, if a serving of fries (about twenty fries—not super-sized!) has 16 grams of fat, 144 calories are from fat. That’s 16 grams × 9 calories per gram. are currently eating, and the second step is to reduce it! If you weren’t eating too much, you wouldn’t be in the fix you are in. Don’t let anyone fool you. 

Total calories matter, and they matter a great deal. Some diet plans state that the total calories consumed are not as important as the kind of calories. There is a grain of truth to that, but it mainly pertains to which calories are burned and which are stored. If you eat 800 calories of protein and 800 calories of fat, some of both will be converted to body fat if they are not burned up by activity or metabolism. A calorie by any other name is still a calorie, regardless of the source. 

A calorie is simply a measure of energy generated when a substance is metabolized. (Here calorie actually represents 1 kilocalorie, but to avoid confusion, I will continue to use the term calorie.) A gram of protein yields 4 calories when it is burned. A gram of carbohydrate yields 4 calories when it is metabolized, and a gram of fat yields 9 calories when it is consumed. (By the way, a gram of alcohol yields 7 calories when consumed.) 

To summarize: Source of Calories per Energy Gram Fat 9 Carbohydrate 4 Protein 4 

It is easy to see that, gram for gram, fat is a great concentrated source of energy; energy that you have to expend or it will stay with you in the form of love handles and jelly bellies. The source of the calories does not change the energy content. A gram of protein from Bessie the cow will yield the same energy as a gram of protein from Sally soybean, assuming it is completely metabolized. There is no question that the source and kind of nutrient will have different effects on things like cholesterol synthesis, but the calories remain the same. Therefore, a recommendation to decrease your calorie intake means decrease the total intake of calories, regardless of the source. This doesn’t mean that you should live on only one source of calories (i.e., eating protein bars morning, noon, and night), because there is more to nutrition than just calories.

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