Understanding the calorie balance for a successful weight loss program

Before you start your own weight loss program its important to understand the calorie balance of human body. I presume that you have gone through the first article in this series –  How to lose weight without exercise and diet control? Questions like am I obese?, Do I need to lose weight?, What Is ideal weight for me?, Can I lose weight without diet control and exercise? etc. are addressed in the earlier article. We are now moving to understanding the basic metabolism of our own body so that you can design your own weight loss program. People often fail in losing weight because they simply try to follow the instructions given, without understanding how is it going to work. My effort is to educate you about your own body, its metabolism, the calorie balance, the cause of weight gain and the tricks that you can try to play with metabolism of your own body for a successful weight loss program.

A basic understanding of human body, the various organs and systems would be useful to start with. I have earlier published a short article Simplifying the most complex machine – human body and I would highly recommend that you go through it before jumping on this one.

Calorie balance in the human body

Human body is a perfect machine as described in the above article. Calorie is a unit of energy, and your calorie intake should be equal to energy requirements of your body. The extra calories that you consume are deposited in the body in the form of fats as reserve. This mechanism of storing extra calories is for survival during the period of starvation.

I have earlier written a blog about this calorie balance and mechanism behind weight gain. You are adviced to go through – Why am I putting on weight? 

Where does the body get energy from?

We know that most of the machines that we use today work on electrical energy. In a  fan this electrical energy is converted into mechanical energy that moves the blades of fan. The human body works on a specific energy that in the form of ATPs. The body produces energy in the form of ATPs and the same is used for every activity. You would be surprised to know that the major portion of our daily energy requirements is for the activities that we never notice. That is called as basal metabolic rate (BMR). This is the amount of energy that our body requires daily even if we are sleeping for the whole day and night. This is the energy consumed in activities like breathing, pumping of heart, digestion of food and even for thinking. Every cell of human body needs energy for executing the task it’s supposed to do.

The basic source of energy (ATPs) is intracellular metabolism of glucose. After entering the cell every molecule of glucose gets metabolised to CO2 and water and during the process ATPs are released. For metabolism of glucose the cells require oxygen (O2) and for entry of glucose inside a cell every molecule requires one molecule of insulin too.

Where do the cells get glucose from?

Food that we consume basically has 3 types of nutrients – carbohydrates, proteins and fats. After consumption the food passes through a lengthy intestinal tract and gets digested during the transit. By the time it reaches small intestine, carbohydrates are broken down to glucose, proteins get broken down to amino acids and fats get broken down to fatty acids. All these are absorbed by the small blood vessels (capillaries) surrounding the intestine and reach the blood. Now blood acts as a transport system to carry these nutrients to all the cells of the body.

You must be wondering if the cells need glucose alone, why are fatty acids and proteins absorbed at all. Proteins are basically the building blocks of our body. Each organ is made of proteins. Proteins are like the metal and plastic thats needed for making a motorcycle while glucose is like the petrol it needs to run. Fats basically act as the reserve fuel and are stored largely beneath our skin and in abdomen (tummy) as reserve food to be used while we are starving.

Though glucose is the primary source of energy in absence of glucose body can utilize fats and then protein for its energy needs. This one is an important point to be noted and we would be using this information while planning our weight loss program.

How to calculate calorie intake from diet?

Everything that we consume has carbohydrates, fats and proteins in different proportions. One gm of glucose and protein give is 4 calories while the same amount of fats can release 9 cals. There are a number of online calculators that can help you calculate your daily calorie intake. You simply need to choose the food item and its quantity that you consume daily.

How to calculate daily colorie consumption?

Our body consumes calories during activities like walking, jogging, running, playing and other kinds of exercise. Again there are a number of online calculators that you can use to calculate your daily calorie consumption. Though the major consumption is for BMR. There are complex formulas to calculate BMR, though you can simply multiply your weight by 25 and that would give your rough BMR.

How to lose weight?

If your daily energy consumption is less than your daily intake, you go into negative balance. In that scenario your body would use the reserve fat. Now this can be achieved either by cutting on your diet or exercising. But the target is to lose weight without starving or exercising.

Is it possible to lose weight without exercise and diet control?

Though its best to compliment your efforts with exercise, for some reasons if you cant, you may play woth your diet. There are number of diet plans in which you have to strictly follow the diet chart. Often people fail to stick to the diet chart once they lose some weight. Such plans often fail and there is a relapse.

So we would plan a diet that can be followed for long term, in which you dont have to starve. We will play with the metabolism of your own body. One thing that u have to completely sacrifice is simple sugar. You can substitute it with sugar substitutes though. In next and final blog I will write about the changes in dietary habits that can help you lose weight without exercise and starving.

Join hands with others

Losing weight without exercise and diet control is the goal. Why not do it together? Having a group of people who are on the same mission would surely boost you up. Other group members can help you with their experiences and tips. People in group would not only learn from each other but would ensure that the whole group remains committed to weight loss. We can try have a group on facebook or whatsapp for this purpose. I would be always available for that group to help resolve your queries. If you wish to join a group do comment. Some of you may not be comfirtable with this and they can start their weight loss program on individual basis. If you have gone through all the blogs in this series, just note down your baseline weight and be ready to go for the mission. In a couple of days I will publish the final blog with dietary instructions that would help you lose weight without exercise and diet control.

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