Energy in Food
Energy Content of Popular Foods
Energy Intake and Expenditure
The Energy Equation
Whether we gain or lose weight - or stay the same - is determined by the "energy equation." Energy-in refers to our food calorie consumption. Energy-out refers to our calorie expenditure.
About 60 percent of our energy expenditure is accounted for by our resting or basal metabolic rate - meaning, the amount of energy needed to fuel the body's biochemical processes while at rest. Most (not all) of the remaining energy expenditure is spent on movement and general exercise. For example, brisk walking burns about 100 calories in 15 minutes.
Energy Expenditure and Dieting
Many dieters intent on losing weight tend to eat too little. Problem is, an overly restrictive calorie-intake can cause the body to conserve calories, leading to slower weight reduction. A useful way to prevent this type of energy-conservation is to eat regularly - example: eat a small snack every 3 hours. In addition, it's worth noting that energy-related bodily functions - like appetite, metabolic rate, metabolism of fats and sugars, and so on - work more efficiently when we have an optimum intake of nutrients, like vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients. There are at least 22 vitamins and minerals that are important for weight management.
Energy and Metabolic Rate
Although our resting metabolic rate is largely a matter of genetic inheritance, we can raise it somewhat. The only effective way to raise metabolism is by taking regular exercise. Regular aerobic workouts burn energy the fastest and raise metabolism, while strength-training exercise increases our muscle mass, which itself contributes to a faster metabolic rate as maintaining muscle tissue requires more calories.
More Information About Calories and Energy in Foods
For more details about energy needs, energy expenditure and daily calorie intake, see Calorie Information