The stability of body weight and composition requires a person’s energy intake to be balanced with the expenditure. When there is an excess of energy intake, the excess energy is stored in the body and body weight increases. Conversely, when the output exceeds dietary intake, a loss of weight begins.
In addition, appropriate balance must be maintained with regards to the intake of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.
The amount of energy liberate from 1 gram of carbohydrate is approximately 4 kilocalories. 1 gram of protein gives the same amount (4 kilocalories) of energy. While 1 gram of fats burns to give 9 kilocalories.
Carbohydrates and fats
Carbohydrates and fats are the main energy source of a person. For people who have more meat in their diet (aka modern diet), fats is the main source of energy and constitute about 40% of the daily energy requirements. The converse is true of vegetarians and less developed countries where plant based products like wheat and rice provides carbohydrates as the main source of energy.
Proteins are building blocks of cells and are usually not used as a source of energy unless there are inadequate supply of carbohydrates and proteins. The average daily requirement of protein for a person is abut 40 grams. It is important to take a variety of proteins as different proteins are made up of different amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). While most amino acid can be synthesized by the body, a small group of them called essential amino acids can only be obtained from the diet.
The above is a simple introduction to the essential ingredients of a diet. It is important that we understand these before embarking on how quest to learn about how fast to lose weight. I liken this to learning the grammar before writing a sentence.
Please kindly give any comments of questions you have below.
Dr Laurie (MBBS)
Filed under: Weight Loss Basics