Free Preview - Chapter 1 - Basics of Dieting - Your Body's Efficiency
Have you ever wondered why, for so many people (and especially for anyone older than 30 years old), weight gain seems to be a fact of life? It's because the human body is way too efficient! It just does not take that much energy to maintain the human body at rest; and when exercising, the human body is amazingly frugal when it comes to turning food into motion.
At rest (for example, while sitting and watching television), the human body burns only about 12 calories per pound of body weight per day (26 calories per kilogram). That means that if you weigh 150 pounds (68 kg), your body uses only about:
150 X 12 = 1,800 calories per day
Twelve calories per pound per day is a rough estimate - and you can refer to the previous chapter on calories to find out more about how to work out your BMR.
Those 1,800 calories are used to do everything you need to stay alive:
- They keep your heart beating and lungs breathing.
- They keep your internal organs operating properly.
- They keep your brain running.
- They keep your body warm.
In motion, the human body also uses energy very efficiently. For example, a person running a marathon (26 miles or 42 km) burns only about 2,600 calories. In other words, you burn only about 100 calories per mile (about 62 calories per km) when you are running.
You can see just how efficient the human body is if you compare your body to a car. A typical car gets between 15 and 30 miles per gallon of fuel (6 to 12 km/L). A gallon of fuel contains about 31,000 calories. That means that if a human being could drink gasoline instead of eating hamburgers to take in calories, a human being could run 26 miles on about one-twelfth of a gallon of gas (0.3 L). In other words, a human being gets more than 300 miles per gallon (120 km/L)! If you put a human being on a bicycle to increase the efficiency, a human being can get well over 1,000 miles per gallon (more than 500 km/L)!
That level of efficiency is the main reason why it is so easy to gain weight, as we will see in the next section.
- *FREE PREVIEW* Chapter 1 - Basics of Dieting
- Your Body's Efficiency
- Taking Calories In
- Sample Menu
- The Idea Behind Dieting
- Why Diets Tend Not to Work
- Building a Sustainable Diet
- Cutting Calories
- Fitting in Exercise
- Weight Loss Myths
- Chapter 2 - Understanding Calorie
- What is a Calorie?
- What Calories Do
- Basal Metabolic Rate
- Your Caloric Needs
- Calories, Fat and Exercise
- Chapter 3 - Food
- I'm Starving...
- Chapter 4 - Fat & Fat Cells
- What is Fat?
- Saturated vs. Unsaturated
- Fat and Health
- Essential Fatty Acids
- So What Should I Eat?
- Fat Cells
- Where's the Fat?
- How Fat Enters Your Body
- How Fat is Stored in Your Body
- Hormones That Act Opposite to Insulin
- How Your Body Breaks Down Fat
- Brown Fat: Making Heat
- Losing Weight and Losing Fat
- Chapter 5 - The Atkins Diet
- What is Low-Carbohydrate Dieting?
- The Four Phases of Atkins
- The Foods You Can Eat
- How Atkins Causes Weight Loss
- Benefits and Drawbacks
- The Experts Weigh In
- Glossary of Atkins Terms