As a child, I was convinced by the presence of a sister with an unnaturally flat stomach and above average athletic prowess, that I was fat. I was, at most, chubby. I used to lay on my bed every night and wonder what it would be like to be skinny. I remember thinking it would be good to be pregnant, because once the baby was born I would be thin. (I was young, very, very wrong and kind of ... well .. weird).
So I've always thought about it, a lot. But I've never really understood them ... until now.
A calorie is a mesure of energy, to give it it's true definition it is "a unit of heat equal to the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree at one atmosphere pressure." Now, I have gone over and over this statement and still have no idea what this means or how it relates back to what should and shouldn't be eating. But. here are the top five things I have learned this February.
- To loose weight you must expend more energy than you consume. So, your calories out need to greater than your calories in.
- One pound of body weight is equivalent to 3500 calories. So to loose just one pound (just under half a kilo) a week you need to eat 3500 fewer calories than you consume in that week (roughly 500 a day). (Makes you wonder how the biggest losers do 15kg in a week!)
- This can be achieved by both reducing your intake of calories, or by increasing the amount you expend.
- Different foods have different 'thermic effects'. That is some take more energy to burn than others. Dietary fat, for example has very little thermic effect, while protein is harder for the body to process and has a much larger thermic effect.
- To be really healthy we need to have include food from all the food groups in our diet (including fat and carbs) and make sure our diet is colourful, plenty of green, red and orange!