Now that you know what the proper weight range is for you, it is time to understand how weight is managed. But wait, how do you do that? In this lesson we will find out that weight management is about balancing calories. But first, do you know how many calories it takes to gain 1 pound? If you don't, you're not alone, but this bit of information is critical when talking about weight management...I mean, how would you know how the calories from the chicken alfredo you had last night will effect your weight?
So, on to the answer...
A calorie is a unit of measure that indicates the amount of energy gained from food or expended through activity. Every time your body consumes more than it needs to maintain weight, you will gain a pound. Conversely, overtime when your body expends an extra 3500 calories, you will lose a pound of fat. Do you think it is easier to consume 3500 calories or to expend 3500 calories? Before you address that question, let's learn a bit more about balancing calories...
Back to Balance...
If you take in the same amount of calories you expend you will maintain your current body weight which is called Isocaloric Balance. If you consume more calories than you expend you will gain weight which is called Positive Caloric Balance. And, if you expend more than you take in you will lose weight which is called Negative Caloric Balance.
Let's define what calories in and calories out really means. Calories In includes every bit of food or drink you consume. And, yes this includes all the little bite size nibles of cake and candy. Some of these little snacks and drinks can really add up! Calories Out includes any movement your body makes, plus your Basal Metobolic Rate (BMR). Your BMR is the amount of calories your body uses at rest or sleeping. This will be the bulk of the calories you burn in a given day, but remember every bit counts!
Calories Out is Not Equal for Everyone
Did you know that calorie expendiutre, whether it is BMR or daily activity is different for diffreent people? If you are male, younger, taller or heavier you will have a higher BMR and burn more calories than if you are female, shorter and lighter. Why would this be? First males tend to have a higher percert of muscles in their bodies and this muscle burns more calories than body fat. The exact number is under debate, but it can be anywhere from 20-50 times more! This may also be why many older adults tend to gain weight - they lose muscle as they age and therefore burn fewer calories. Definitley worth a trip to the gym on a regular basis to lift weights!
Your height and weight will be a factor in how much energy you burn. The more you weigh, the more energy it takes to move or maintain your body, therefore you will burn more calories. A BMR for a typical 25 year-old, 130 lb, 5' 2" female is approxiamtely 1400 calories. A 25 year-old man who is 6 ft, 200lbs BMR is approximately 2060 calories. A substancial difference, don't you think?
Did you know that we tend to over estimate how many calories we burn during exercise and underestimate the anount of calories we consume? You should have a pretty good idea, after doing the sparkpeople assignments, about how many calories you tend to consume on a given day. But, what about how many calories you expend during exercise? Let's look at a few activities and the calories burned based on 130lb person and a 200lb person.
As you can see, the 200lb person burns more calories than the 130lb person. It is importnat to know your own numbers as you will do in the assignment listed below.
What is Your Balance?
Now it is your turn to figure out your energy balance. In this assignment you will calculate your total expenditure (including BMR), energy balance and create a weigh management plan.
- Download the worksheet (Lab 9.1)
- Save it to your desktop and complete
- No points will be awarded on this assignment, but I highly recommend that you fill it out for your own benefit.