A calorie is a measure of energy expenditure. The weight management of the body depends upon the energy balance equation which comprises of the amount of energy you put into your body i.e. calories and the amount of energy you expend (activity).Scientifically calorie can also be defined as a unit of heat equal to the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree at one atmosphere pressure which is used by nutritionists to characterize the energy-producing potential in food.
Ways of burning calories
There are three ways of burning calories which are as follows:
1) Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
BMR is the amount of calories you burn just by being stationery - even when you are lying down, doing nothing. BMR accounts for approximately 60% of the calories burned for an average person.
2) Burning Calories for Activity
This is the energy used during movement - from lifting your arm to operate the remote control to cleaning the windows. This accounts for approximately 30% of the calories burned by an average person.
3) Dietary Thermogenesis
The 'thermogenic effect' is described as a meal-induced heat production - the calories burned in the process of eating, digesting, absorbing and using food.
Tips for burning calories
1) Build Muscle
Increase the amount of muscle in your body. For every additional pound of muscle you again, your body uses around 50 extra calories a day. Researchers have found that regular weight training boosts basal metabolic rate by about 15%. This is because muscle is 'metabolically active' and burns more calories than other body tissue.
2) Keep moving
Although the average person burns around 30% of calories through daily activity, many people only use around 15%. Simply being aware of this fact keeps the 'keep moving' message in mind. Then, take every opportunity to move - here are some ideas for burning calories which are tap your feet, swing your legs, drum your fingers, stand up and stretch.
There are lots of opportunities for burning more calories if you remember that you're looking for them! Keep thinking and 'keep moving'.
3) Eat Spicy Food
There is indication to show that spices, especially chilly, can raise the metabolic rate by up to 50% for up to 3 hours after you've eaten a spicy meal.
4) Aerobic Exercise
As well as the actual amount of calories burned during exercise - studies have shown that sustained, high-intensity exercise makes you burn more calories for several hours later. Try an half hour minute sessions of heart rate raising exercise, such as vigorous walking, step aerobics, jogging or swimming, 3-4 times a week.
5) Eat Little and Often
There is some evidence to suggest that eating less and regular meals will keep your metabolism going faster than larger and less frequent meals. There are two reasons why meal frequency may affect your metabolism. Firstly, levels of thyroid hormones begin to reduce within hours of eating a meal, and metabolism slows. Secondly, it may be that the thermogenic effect of eating several small meals is slightly more than eating the same amount of calories all at once.
Human beings need energy to survive to breathe, move, pump blood and they acquire this energy from food. Thus the energy required is in the form of calories.
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