Today, many people recognize the long-term health benefits of following a balanced diet, regular exercise, and other everyday practices that are meant to keep one’s weight in check. Nonetheless, you need to consider the relationship between calorie intake and body fat for you to achieve your physical and mental wellness goals with these lifestyle habits. Knowing how they work together can help you make an informed choice of what and how much to eat every day to optimize your overall health.
How People Add Body Fat
Your body converts excess calories from the food you eat into fat and stores it in the form of adipose tissues. Your body converts the fat and uses it as energy when needed. Therefore, a certain amount of body fat is important to avoid malnutrition and other health issues. However, excess fat can cause several health complications.
If you consistently consume more calories than you expend per day, you’ll gain body fat and weight as a result. It may also eventually cause leptin resistance. People with this problem tend to experience hunger and eat more often, adding body fat and causing more weight management issues. Besides causing obesity, excess body fat exposes an individual to the risk of heart disease, hypertension, and other medical complications.
The Importance of Calories in the Body
The food you eat delivers the energy your body needs to function. This energy is measured in calories. Most body organs, including the heart and brain, use the bulk of your daily caloric intake.
Your muscles also consume a good amount of calories, accounting for about 20% of your body’s daily energy usage. This is why resistance training exercises that lead to increased lean muscle play a vital role in increasing caloric expenditure throughout the day thus keeping excess calories in check due to higher total calorie burn. If you’re able to build muscle, you can accelerate your body’s metabolism rate and lose weight much faster than an individual with too much fat in the body and less muscle.
How Many Calories Should You Cut Per Day to Lose Weight?
In addition to exercise, you can lose weight by checking your daily calories intake. Some studies have suggested that 1lb of body weight translates to 3,500 calories. Based on this notion, some people target creating a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories per week to cut body fat by 1lb. However, numerous factors will determine how best to calibrate your weight loss program.
For example, you could target a 1lb weight loss per week by cutting out 500 calories per day. Eating low-calorie foods is one of the most effective strategies to achieve this. Some healthy swaps you may want to make include:
- Ditching fries for salad with lemon juice and olive oil
- Using avocado oil instead of butter
- Steaming instead of frying vegetables
- Dropping whole milk for plant-based alternatives
- Snacking on fresh fruit instead of potato chips or cookies
- Drinking unsweetened herbal tea instead of carbonated beverages or alcohol
- Reduce consumption of sugary drinks and soda
- Using low-fat cooking oils
Clearly, you need to create a caloric deficit to achieve your weight loss goals. The amount of calories you have to cut per day and how long it might take to get the desired outcomes depends on multiple factors. Your metabolism, current weight, and physical activity levels are some of the important considerations.
Would you like to explore more practical ways to manage weight and optimize your overall wellbeing? If so, contact us at Genesis Performance today. We can help you maximize your physical and mental health through a holistic wellness program. Through our virtual training, our team will help you attain your fitness goals. To get started, contact us today!