Friday, December 15, 2006

Count your calories

Every time a new fast food joint opens in the city, the temptation is simply irresistible! However much the calorie counter says, the momentary pleasure takes the better of all the cautious health regimes and elaborate diet charts. It's only later that we look in disgust and horror at those extra fat hanging from the waist and flank and then take yet another resolution to stay fit only to be abandoned with grim results in a matter of few weeks.

Here are some interesting facts that may help you stick your resolutions. A 65 kg. adult male doing light work (pushing files in an office etc.) should burn about 2,400 calories every day. This is only a rough estimate. Calorie values vary with age, height and strenuousness of work. Women who are pregnant or are breast-feeding obviously need higher number of calories in their diet. If you are serious about losing weight and eating healthy, shop around for charts that calculate ideal body weight and calorie intake, including the energy values of common Indian food.

Says fitness trainer Ganga Raj, "To burn one pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories a week." This means one has to burn 500 calories per day. "This may not be possible for every one. In that case you can burn 300 calories in exercise and cut down your diet by 200 calories. The deficit calories and burned calories will help strike a balance," she suggests.

A common misconception is that skipping meals helps to reduce weight. "If a person does not take breakfast by 10 in the morning, the body considers that you are on a fasting mode. After that, whatever food is taken gets stored as food energy or calories," explains Ganga. Research shows that the majority of people who put on weight are the ones who skip breakfast.

Another aspect to watch out for is `eating amnesia', which researchers say can undo all weight-loss efforts. Stolen bites like a handful of a friend's popcorn at the movies or finishing off your kid's leftover snack can rack up a few hundred uncounted calories that can soon add the extra pounds. Eating while distracted is also included in this kind of amnesia.

When women who normally watch their portions had lunch in different situations, researchers found that they ate 15 per cent more - 72 additional calories if they ate while listening to a detective story compared with what they ate alone and free of any distractions. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).

Exercise should be a way of life and not a crash course. Just like how you brush your teeth every day, exercise should be made an intrinsic part of the routine. Even an hour's brisk walk in the morning can do wonders. "Walking may take longer time to burn the extra calories but nevertheless, the effect is long-lasting," Ganga says.

A small workout session at home for 20 minutes is enough. "But one has to stay motivated and make it a routine," she adds.

Knocking off those extra pounds will take a while.

Burning one pound of fat requires walking for nearly 50 km.! Nevertheless, if you maintain your daily energy intake at the desired healthy level, walking a km. every day for 50 days will accomplish the same result.

Ultimately, slow and steady truly wins the race.

Source: Hindu Net

1 comment:

sundar said...

"To burn one pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories a week."

1 kg = 2.2 pounds

Some site says to lose 1 kg you need to burn 3,500 calories.

Now which is correct?

3500 calories burnt equal to 1 pound of 1 kg of weigth loss?

temanbatin at yahoo