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Everyday Calorie Burn

Which calories actually count towards weight loss?

Ever get confused about how many calories you're burning each day? After all, waking up every day requires calories, but that certainly doesn't count towards weight loss! Here's how to differentiate between what does and doesn't make a difference to your exercise diary.

Calorie target

In order to lose 1 lb, you need to reduce your calorie intake by 3,500 per week - that's 500 per day. This is best done through a combination of eating less, and burning off extra calories through daily exercise.

A typical day

Exercise that counts in terms of helping with weight loss must be over and above what you normally burn in your typical day. You will usually take at least 2,500 steps per day, and household activities are generally daily tasks that your body is used to performing. To achieve the 250 calorie exercise target requires you to do more activity than you usually do! If you are counting every [pedometer] step you take, plus all household tasks, then your additional calorie burn is going to be unrealistically high.

Pros and cons

The human body is extremely adaptable, which has both pros and cons. On the plus side your body's ability to utilise stored body fat improves dramatically as it becomes accustomed to exercise. This increased efficiency means that even when you are not exercising your body is able to utilise body fat, and over time the calories you burn as a result of exercising will increase.

Unfortunately, this also means that it's easy to get stuck in an exercise rut, because your body doesn't have to work so hard at activities it has adapted to. For this reason, daily physical activities tend to make little difference to your basic metabolic rate - which is what you're looking to raise in order to burn extra calories

All about the extras

So to calculate your daily calorie burn, try not to include routine activities. It's extra activities that are really beneficial in helping weight loss.

But of course exercise doesn't have to mean going to the gym. You might decide to 'up' your dog walking by another half an hour, walk or cycle to work instead of drive, or never take a lift again. Any additional activity you can build into your day will count towards you achieving your exercise target.

You are advised to seek medical advice before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle with an aim of weight loss. This website and the content provided should not be used by persons under 18, by pregnant or nursing women, or individuals with any type of health condition, except under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional. The information contained in these articles, and elsewhere on this website, is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to replace, and does not constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis and may not be used for such purposes. Continue...

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