December 2009
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This installment of Fat Loss Secrets will shed some knowledge of the importance of calories – what they are, and why it is vital to keep track of them! So let’s roll…

Put simply, a calorie is a unit of energy used by the body to perform all of its functions.

In a nutritional sense, calories come from the foods we ingest. When our bodies break down and digest this food, it uses the energy stored in the food (calories) to perform the daily functions necessary for life (metabolic functions). Such functions include everything we do – breathing, walking, exercising, digesting….basically any energy-requiring function that we engage in.

Now that you understand what a calorie is, it is time to apply it to fat loss. There are a lot of fat loss secrets you may read about that promise success, but you will not get far until you realize the importance of caloric intake for fat loss.

You may be familiar with the “calories in versus calories out” idea. This idea states that:

In order to lose weight, you must consume less calories than you burn, and
In order to gain weight, you must consume more calories than you burn

This is the basic, underlying concept to fat loss. Though it is not really one of the fat loss secrets, it is definitely an idea you must accept in order to complete the fat loss puzzle.

Do you now see why it is important to keep track of your caloric intake in order to be successful? If you fail to do this, you will have no way of knowing if you are eating too much or too little.

Right now you may be thinking, “Well if I starve myself or eat very little then I don’t have to count calories because I know I am consuming less calories than I burn!”

This is a horrible way to think! You see, the “calories in versus calories out” concept applies to overall WEIGHT loss, not fat loss only. If you starve yourself, you may lose some fat, but you will also be sure to lose muscle mass and water. And for optimal fat loss you MUST hold onto as much muscle as possible and stay hydrated.

Muscle is a metabolically active tissue. This means that the mere presence of muscle in the body requires energy (in the form of expended calories) to retain. So the more muscle you have and hold onto, the higher your metabolism be, which means the more calories you will burn (even at rest!), and the more fat you will lose!

Put simply: more muscle=more fat loss.

So it’s time to reveal some fat loss secrets!

The key fat loss secret in terms of caloric intake is to adjust your calories at a minimal daily caloric deficit. A daily caloric deficit means that you burn more calories per day than you consume. Likewise, a daily caloric surplus means that you consume more calories per day than you burn.

The idea behind a minimal deficit is that it enables us to burn fat while keeping most, if not all of our hard earned muscle! And by now it is no secret that we must hang onto our muscle in order to keep losing fat steadily and efficiently.

To lose fat, you want to avoid two particular scenarios at all costs: Steep caloric surpluses and steep caloric deficits:

Steep caloric surplus:
It is VERY easy to eat way too many calories in a day without even realizing it. Think of this: A common meal for an American eating out may be 2 double cheeseburgers, a medium Coke, and small fries from McDonald’s. This adds up to around 1500 calories for one meal. Factor in 2-3 other meals during the day and calorie intake could easily reach 4500 or more, especially considering that people love to snack between meals! 4500 calories is way too much for the AVERAGE person in a day. Overweight people with a lot of fat or bodybuilders with a LOT of muscle may require that many calories a day to maintain their weight. But the average-weight person eating this many calories per day will be storing the excess as FAT. I’m sure many of you already know about this simple idea…so I wouldn’t call it a fat loss secret, but rather general overeating information.

Steep caloric deficit:

Eating way too few calories in a day is generally less likely to happen in today’s society. Why? Because the convenience and low prices of calorie-dense fast food make it almost unavoidable at times. And the over-sized portions served at restaurants can pack thousands of calories at one sitting. The most common situation for a steep caloric deficit is when someone is on a diet. Some of today’s diets focus on cutting massive amounts of calories in order to “lose weight fast.” You will learn about why this is NOT an effective method of fat loss in the Metabolism chapter. Other diets focus on counting “portions” instead of calories. This method is dangerous as it is just an estimation and can easily lead to continual daily caloric deficits.

Steep caloric surpluses cause us to:

-gain fat

-gain muscle (ONLY IF the calories are from foods which promote muscle growth)

-speed the metabolism

Steep caloric deficits cause us to:

-lose some fat

-lose muscle

-slow our metabolism

By NOT counting calories, you are putting yourself at serious risk for a steep caloric surplus or a steep caloric deficit.

Now that you have read this edition of Fat Loss Secrets, you hopefully understand the importance of tracking your calories for maximum fat loss!

more lowcarb diet plan tips:

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