Jan 27, 2017
Here are some numbers for you:
3500 calories - the amount of energy from a pound of fat
100 calories - the amount of energy it takes to walk or run a mile
5 calories - the amount of energy the body burns to consume 1 liter of oxygen
1 calories = the amount of energy required to increase 1 liter of water 1 degree centigrade.
A calorie is a measure of unit of energy. When we eat food we are absorbing nutrients that will ultimately end up in one of three places: in muscles to burn as energy, in our waste when we eliminate or in our adipose tissue where fat is stored to be used for energy at a later date.
If we eat a piece of food with 500 calories then whatever energy we do not burn or eliminate will be stored for use at a later time. In the body fat is simply stored energy; if you are looking to lose weight and burn fat then it is necessary to get up and be more active.
We use oxygen, along with fats and carbohydrates, to produce energy to fuel activity in the body. Anytime we use more muscle tissue or do more activity we will require more oxygen and therefore burn more calories.
If you've been struggling to lose weight then adding more activity to your daily habits can be one way to increase your net energy expenditure. Studies show that people who move more throughout the day can burn up to 300 more calories - that's equivalent to a 3 mile run!
In this Quick Fit Tip episode of All About Fitness I cover a few simple steps that you can take to burn more energy throughout your day.
One big tip:
When reading a label to identify the amount of calories in a food or drink - Ask yourself, can I burn the energy that this is going to add to my body? If you see that a certain snack like a piece of pumpkin loaf from your favorite Seattle-based coffee store is 380 calories then that means you need to be prepared to walk about 4 miles to burn off the energy it will provide.
At the USMC Camp Pendleton 10K Mud Run - Burning off some of my extra energy!
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