Will I Burn a Pound of Fat with 3,500 Calories?
You’ve probably heard that “a calorie is just a calorie” and all that matters in losing weight is dependent on how many calories you are taking into your body. Many weight loss professionals will also tell you that you’ll need to burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound of body fat. Though this is true to an extent, it's not entirely the whole truth. A calorie isn’t just a calorie, and many other factors play a part when it comes to weight loss.
What Exactly is a Calorie Then?
A calorie is a measure of energy and your body depends on it. Energy intake is made up of the calories taken in by the foods you eat, while energy expenditure includes physical activity, vital function at rest, digestion of foods, and bodily waste. If energy intake is greater than the output, body weight is gained. The opposite is also true. When energy expenditure is greater than the input, body weight is lost. If energy intake and expenditure are equal, body weight is maintained.
However, the foods you eat also matter. In fact, the type of calorie you put into your body matters, especially when it comes to fat loss. If you're desiring to lose weight, then you may want to follow some calorie tips below to help you get started.
EAT NATURAL FOODS
My favorite nutrition quote is:
If it didn't come from the natural world, don't eat it.
So, what kinds of foods come from the natural world? Well, that would be animal proteins such as wild game, beef, poultry, eggs, fish, and seafood. It also includes plants that haven't been altered by pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemically-altered toxins such as vegetables, legumes, tubers, nuts, seeds, and fruits. Research shows that natural wholefoods consume nearly 50 percent more energy when digested than the empty calories provided by processed foods.
Processed foods are commercially prepared foods for convenience. They are usually food items that have been altered or preserved in packages, boxes, jars, cans, or plastic such as frozen dinners, white bread, and boxed cookies. They also have a long shelf life due to the chemicals used to preserve them.
EAT HIGH FIBER FOODS
Fiber is a form of carbohydrate found in plant foods. They contribute to satiety (feeling full), but a portion of their calories aren't digested which helps you lose weight as they are not absorbed by the body. Though your digestive system just can’t break down certain fibers, you still reap the benefits of vitamins and minerals within the food item. Additionally, the fiber can help you lose weight in other ways. Fiber can be classified as soluble and insoluble, and you can read more about them below.
Soluble fiber helps you decrease belly fat. It is soft and sticky and attracts water to form a gel-like substance inside of your digestive system. This helps soften your stools so that it can slide through your gastrointestinal tract more easily. It also binds substances like cholesterol and sugar to prevent and slow their absorption into your bloodstream. In turn, soluble fiber helps protect against heart disease and regulate blood sugar levels. Even more, this type of fiber boosts the population of good bacteria in your gut and thereby improves your immunity. For weight management, soluble fiber helps reduce body fat around the midsection which can make your waistline trimmer. One study reported that for every 10 grams of daily soluble fiber eaten, there is a four percent decrease in belly fat.
Lose extra weight with insoluble fiber. This type of fiber is called roughage. It’s mostly found in the stalks, skins, and seeds of plant foods. Unlike soluble fiber, insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. Nor is it broken down in the gut and absorbed into the bloodstream. Instead, it adds bulk to waste in your digestive system which helps prevent constipation and keep elimination on a regular basis. With the average person carrying an extra 5 to 20 pounds of poop, eating insoluble fiber can eliminate this extra weight.
Losing both belly fat and toxic waste is important for losing weight, so be sure to include more plant-based foods in your diet. Women require about 28 grams of fiber per day, while men require about 34 grams. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to help move fiber through your digestive tract.
EAT MORE PROTEIN
A specific dynamic action occurs between protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Thus, the thermic effect of these foods increase energy expenditure that comes from digestion and assimilation of their nutrients. While carbohydrates and fats are important for a healthy diet, research has shown protein boosts metabolism at a higher rate.
In fact, protein boosts metabolism by 20 to 30 percent compared to five to 10 percent for carbohydrates and zero to five percent for fats. In other words, you will burn 20 to 30 calories for every 100 protein calories you ingest.
While protein is important for weight loss, that doesn’t mean you should go hog-wild on a protein-only or high protein diet. In fact, it can be dangerous for your metabolic processes to eliminate carbohydrates and fats as they do provide important benefits for your body. However, including 20 to 35 percent of your diet with high quality protein will help you lose weight faster.
Curb Cravings and Dispel Body Fat...
Losing weight can be a difficult prospect if you’re not eating the right types of calories. By eating natural foods, especially high in fiber and moderate protein, you'll adequately nourish your body and help your weight loss goals. Plus, these foods types will help you curb cravings and dispel body fat faster.
If you still want to know how to determine the amount of calories you should include in your daily diet, please read Easily Calculate Calories to Lose Weight.