Everyone knows that we need to burn more calories than we eat to lose weight. But what are calories? Why is it we can lose weight by burning calories? How are calories being burnt?
Calorie is a measurement of heat. It is the amount of energy that is required to raise one milliliter of water by one degree Celsius. Calorie measures the amount of heat or energy that is released when you burn food down.
Calories are burnt through a complicated process that oxidizes food to its basic components. For example, if you burn sugar, it will turn into carbon dioxide. However, in the body, the food burnt is converted to forms of energy.
Therefore when you consume food, the food is broken down and stored as adipose fat or glycogen (which are stored in liver and muscle cells) to be burnt for energy later. Your body prefers to burn glycogen as its first choice of energy rather than body fat when you expand energy such as exercising.
The more muscles you have in your body, the more calories you will burn. The more calories you burnt, the more weight you will lose. This is because muscle cells are metabolically active whereas body fats are not because fat cells do not have much functionality and are mostly inactive.
Different food categories carry a different amount of calories. For example, a gram of protein or carbohydrate has about four calories but a gram of fat packs a whopping nine calories. It is thus a no-brainer that the more fat you eat the more calories your body will store.
Some people raise their metabolic rate by eating many smaller meals a day instead of three big meals. By eating several 5-6 times a day, your insulin level is also better regulated and less insulin will then be converted to adipose fat.
So how can you burn more calories and further raise your metabolism to naturally burn more calories and body fats? A simple and effective way to burn more calories is to build more muscles as explained above and exercise to expand energy and thus burning more calories in the process.