We need to burn more calories than we consumer

In this column over the coming weeks, we are going to talk nutrition.

Wednesday, 13th April 2016, 8:59 pm
Ryan Donohue, owner of Fitness Formation.

Each week, we’ll bring you the next part of an epic column that’s just too big to fit into one week. Take a look at part one here.

To most, nutrition is confusing. The ‘diet’ industry is a multi-billion pound juggernaut which cannot be stopped.

The abundance of ‘special diets’ within it is staggering. They have their place in the market, hence why they make money. They work for some, but not for all. Those some are the ones who turn that ‘diet’ into the next big thing. The magic pill. The rabbit hole you need to go down.

Now ... Go back a line. Weight loss is not what we desire. Weight can mean many things. It’s just a term lazily banded around. The term was used above purposely. Fat loss is what we are truly reaching for. A change in body composition. That’s the holy grail we all desire, but we so often get confused with its more generic terminology.

Over the next month, we will trim the fat, so to speak. It will give you an easier understanding of basic nutrition. We’re not going to throw a lot of scientific terms at you. We’ll look at some of the basics and break it down into easy to digest (unintentional pun) information.

So, here goes ... Firstly. What is a calorie? A calorie is the energy the body requires to increase the temperature of one gram of water by one degree celsius. In modern times, the term kilocalories are often seen on nutrition labels. This is the energy it takes to raise the temperature of one kilo of water by one degree celsius.

Secondly. How many calories are found in the three macronutrients? Well. There are four calories in one gram of protein. The same applies for carbohydrates. One gram of fat contains nine calories. In order to achieve fat loss, we need to burn more calories than we consume. So how does that breakdown?

In simple terms, 1lb of body fat contains 395g of fat. There are around nine calories of energy per gram of fat. This equates to 3,500 calories per pound of body fat.

So. In order to lose 1lb of body fat, we must expend 3,500 calories more than we consume.