Today I asked my fellow trainer Tom Stafford “what should I write about in the blog?” He suggested writing something about the accumulation of calories over time. Let me explain.
First of all, a little background. Everyone has a resting metabolic rate which is the amount of energy expended to maintain body systems while resting quietly in a comfortable environment. This is our involuntary caloric expenditure whereas voluntary caloric expenditure includes walking around, typing, exercise, and other activities you choose to do.
Involuntary and voluntary caloric expenditure together make up your total metabolic rate, which is the amount of calories we burn in a given day. We offset this by consuming calories (eating) and these two factors dictate, at the end of the day, whether we are in a caloric deficit or surplus.
Let’s use an example of someone (call him Joe) who’s total metabolic rate equals out to 2000 calories every day. If Joe were to consume 2000 calories every day he would be in a complete equilibrium and would not gain or lose a pound. However if Joe ate an extra 200 calories over his equilibrium every day for a year it would pan out to an extra 73,000 calories. One pound of weight equals 3500 calories, so Joe would gain 21 pounds in a year.
That is the accumulation of calories over time and it is dangerous because we are creatures of habit and an extra doughnut or second helping of dinner every night can easily become habit.
The good news is that you can use the same scale to lose weight! Let’s say Joe was trying to lose that 21 pounds. He could decrease his caloric intake to 1800 per day which would be a deficit of 200 calories instead of surplus and lose the weight in a year.
Better yet he could eat 1800 calories per day and exercise to burn off another 200 calories which would be a deficit of 400 calories and he’d lose the weight in 6 months!
A word of advice to someone looking to lose weight: don’t overdo it. I wouldn’t recommend someone have higher than a 500 calorie deficit per day because you start to run into problems with your body going into survival mode and your metabolism shutting down. Be patient and disciplined about your approach and you will see results.
If you need help figuring out how many calories you should be eating every day give us a call. We can set up an appointment with our dietitian who has extremely accurate equations and can use them to help you come up with a diet plan.
Paul Piracci, CSCS Professional Trainer
Paul brings a background of athletics and education to the Empower team. He believes that wellness should be viewed as a blended lifestyle that balances nutrition, a healthy mind, and fitness which incorporates fun recreational activities. For more information about Empower Personal Training please call (919) 401-8024.