In today’s world, calorie is Public Enemy Number One. Why does everybody seem to be fighting calories?
First things first, what is calories?
In nutrition, calories is the unit of energy people get from the food they consume, and the energy they exert in completing any physical task.
How does it make a person fat?
When we eat food with more calories than our body requires; our body stores the rest of them as fats. The body stores fat within specialized fat cells — either by enlarging fat cells, which are always present in the body, or by creating new ones. Normally, when we engage in physical activity, we use up this energy. Depending on the level of our exertion, we may even use up some of the stored fat. If this fat isn’t used at all, they accumulate until we eventually become obese.
For this reason, people hit the gym. But calories are tough enemies. On an average, one needs to burn 500 calories per day to lose 0.5 kg.
The journey to losing weight and staying fit has become popular over the years. There are more standardized gyms. People jog often, smart watches strapped to their wrists. In fact, the packs of most processed foods come with the promise of being low in calories. Some brands even create low sugar versions of their products.
How do we burn calories fast?
As frustrating as it is to work out and burn little, researchers still hold that the fastest way to burn calories is to move more — by exercising. George Bray, an obesity expert with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, says that a brisk walk is the most effective way to burn fat.
Other forms of exercising are also important — the more vigorous and longer, the better. As we age, our metabolism becomes slow. At that point, building muscle tissues helps to burn fat even faster (even when we are at rest).
Are there any ways to reduce calories without exercising?
Yes, through dietary means. Here are some you should try:
1. Eating breakfast: Research abound on the relationship between skipping breakfast and weight gain. Those who start their day without breakfast end up eating more food later in the day to make up for it. Activity levels usually drops as the day ends and this leaves the body with more energy than it needs.
2. Drinking caffeinated green tea: I’m sure you must have heard of this one a number of times. Caffeine is a stimulant. What stimulants do is give us the impression that we have a lot of energy, and this makes us move more.
3. Eating small, but frequently: This one might come as a surprise. Many think that the key to burning calories is starvation. On the contrary, it is not. Consider the digestive system as an engine and consider calorie its fuel. Every time we eat, we need calories to start the engine. By eating often and in small quantities, the digestive system expends energy to digest what we have eaten. And that’s better than eating three large square meals!
Are you ready to start burning those calories? Get moving, and drink a lot of water while at it too.