Calories in the form of protein,
carbohydrate, fat, and alcohol supply your body with energy.
If you eat more calories than you need, you gain weight. If
you eat fewer calories than you need, you burn fat and lose
weight. Increasing exercise will shift the energy balance
toward weight loss.
One pound of body fat equals 3,500
Reduce intake by 500 Calories
per day to lose 1 pound per week.
Protein supplies the body with the building
blocks called amino acids to make muscles and other healthy
tissue. Major food sources are dairy products, eggs, meat,
and grains. The amount of energy from protein is 4 calories
per gram. About 15% of a 2000-calorie diet comes from protein.
This equals 300 calories or 75 grams of protein.
Carbohydrate supplies the body with energy.
This helps to keep the protein from being used for energy.
When losing weight, you want to lose fat and not protein containing
muscle. Major food sources are grains, fruits, vegetables,
and milk. The amount of energy from carbohydrate is 4 calories
per gram. About 55% of a 2000 calorie diet comes from carbohydrate.
This equals 1100 calories or 275 grams of carbohydrate. During
weight reduction, consume at least 100 grams of carbohydrate
Fat supplies the body with the most concentrated
form of energy. When reducing calorie intake, fat is the most
important nutrient to modify. Major food sources are butter,
margarine, oils, dressings, fatty meats, and whole milk. The
amount of energy from fat is 9 calories per gram. About 30%
of a 2000 calorie diet comes from fat. This equals 600 calories
or 67 grams of fat. One pat of margarine weighs 5 grams and
contains 45 calories. It is very sneaky!
Alcohol provides 7 calories per gram. Alcohol
has been shown to increase blood pressure. If your weight
is normal, do not consume more than one serving of an alcoholic
beverage per day. Major food sources include hard liquor,
beer, and wine.
It takes more energy to carry extra weight. Imagine how
much more energy you would need to carry fifty pounds of potatoes.
It makes me tired to think about it. We gradually adapt to
the stress of carrying extra pounds by decreasing activity.
Walking a single mile becomes difficult. If you are slim,
you may be comfortable walking a mile in 15 minutes. If you
are overweight, you may find it difficult to walk a mile in
20 minutes. It is a frustrating cycle. Weight gain leads to
decreased activity and decreased activity leads to weight