HOW WEIGHT LOSS WORKS
The whole principle of weight loss is basically very simple.
- If food intake exceeds energy expenditure – you gain weight
- If food intake is lower than energy expenditure – you lose weight
So, if you want to lose weight, your energy expenditure must outweigh your food intake in terms of calories.
ENERGY is usually calculated in calories (cal), or you can find it in kilojoules (kJ), which is basically the same thing.
Calculations are very simple:
1 cal = 1 kJ x 4,1868
For example, 10 calories = 41,868 KJ
ENERGY INCOME CALCULATION
In order to control your calorie intake, it is necessary to know how many calories you consume daily and how much energy do you exceed – this is called CALORIES COUNTING.
HOW TO CALCULATE CALORIES?
There are several options.
Caloric tables that do the job for you are the most popular option here. There are many apps that can tell you exactly how many calories you have consumed.
Another option (a little more complicated one), is to count the calories yourself. On the product packaging you will find all the necessary information as well as the energy values of the food. Based on this data, you can calculate exactly how much calories you have consumed.
!WARNING! The energy value on food packaging is usually stated per “serving”, so you must always convert your calorie intake per SERVING.
Example: If a product states on the package that it contains 280 calories per serving size of 227g and you have eaten only 100g, you need to calculate how many calories there are per 50g. The easiest way is to calculate how many calories there are per one gram of product and multiply it by the number of grams you eat. In our example it is 280: 227 = 1.23 calories per 1 gram. You ate 100g and therefore 1.23×100 = 123 calories. So, your intake is 123 calories per 100g of product.
Be careful – some products use KJ. In such a case, KJ must be converted into calories.
If you do not find this information on the packaging (e.g. unpackaged products such as fruit, vegetables), browse the Internet. Always pay attention to the conversion as per serving size!
TIP: At the beginning, use kitchen scales to weight food. Later on, it will come naturally.
However, if you do not have a kitchen scale or you do not have time to weight every meal, the Internet is full of useful tips and trick on “how to weigh without a weight. You can use a mug or spoon as your measure to keep track of your calorie intake.
CALCULATION OF ENERGY EXPENDITURE
Total daily energy expenditure is the total number of calories you burn during the day.
Your calorie spending consists of several components:
- Basal metabolism = energy that the body burns to run bodily functions such as respiration, heart activity, etc. The basal metabolic rate varies from person to person. You can calculate your basal metabolic rate using the Harris-Benedict equation.
- Work activity = 5-25% of basal metabolism (depends on work intensity, 25% – those who work in construction)
- Stress = 5-15% of basal metabolism (depends on the level of stress, 15% – police officers, surgeons, etc.)
- Sport – Energy burned during sport. We use the following formula:
weight x net time spent exercising in minutes x calories that a person burns at that particular activity per 1 kg of weight in 1 minute (just check out kaloricketabulky.sk) x number of days you exercise per week / 7 (number of days a week to get an average for 1 day)
Example (woman 47 years, 60 kg, 170 cm, a secretary, exercises 2x a week using her own body weight for 45 min, runs twice a week 4km (60 minutes), low stress level)
basal metabolism according to Harris-Benedict = 1,324 kcal
work activity – undemanding 5% = 66 kcal
stress – low 5% = 66 kcal
sport – strengthening – 60kg x 45min x 0.08 kcal x 2 = 432 kcal / 7 = 62 kcal
run – 60kg x 60 min x 0.08 kcal x 2 = 576 kcal / 7 = 82 kcal
Sum up: 1,324 + 66 + 66 + 62 + 82 = 1600 kcal (this is the actual caloric expenditure – you can use it as a base for your calorie counting)
When losing weight, spending must be reduced by min. 1 kcal and max. 300 kcal depending on how fast you want to lose weight. We recommend reducing the intake by about 150 kcal for long-term maintenance.
Although you may find this whole process challenging at first, you can simplify it and use the basal metabolic rate as you guide – this is the BASIS OF YOUR DAILY ENERGY EXPENDITURE.
REMEMBER! IF YOUR ENERGY INCOME IS LOWER THAN ENERGY EXPENDITURE it is guaranteed you will start losing wight!
TO SUM UP:
If you want to lose weight, the most important thing is to lower your daily calorie intake and maximize the energy expenditure!
The best tool for calculating your daily food income and energy expenditure is a CALORIE COUNTER – this little helper will do all the mundane work for you. However, it is important to set up your food intake correctly and plan your activities accordingly!