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What You Need to Know to Succeed In Weight Loss

Dec 7, 2007
In order to be successfull in your weight loss efforts you need to understand the muscle maintenance and cell producing nutrients that the body requires and how it utilizes food sources we take in. Let's take a look at calories, carbohydrates, fats and protein, primary players in the weight control program.

You may well be aware of this fact but never gave it much thought. Some foods make you feel full faster, and keep you feeling full longer. These are foods that you must consider part of your diet. Additionally, you will need to consider the calorie value that food source represents.

Calories are always mentioned in dieting plans. The three classes of calories include protein, carbohydrates, and fat. While there are three basic types of calories, surprisingly you need to direct your efforts at controlling the first two.

The fuel source for your body activity is the calorie. Each food type will be a source of energy that is relative to the amount of calories the body absorbs from that food source. Each person requires a distinct quantity of calories that is relative to a number of factors.

These factors include age, height, weight, gender, and the energy that particular person will expend in a normal day of activity. The bottom line here obviously is that if you consume more calories than you burn off, you will gain weight.

Calories from protein and carbohydrates when not required to meet your energy requirements, are convert to fat and get stored by your body. Even if you are eating mostly "fat free" foods, excess consumption will result in additional body fat. It takes energy to transform protein and carbohydrates to body fat.

Carbohydrates are a major source of energy and should account for 50% to 60% of calories consumed each day. These include carbohydrates of sugars found in fruits (sucrose, glucose, fructose), milk (lactose), and soft drinks and sweets and complex carbohydrates found in whole grain cereals, flour, bread, rice, corn, oats, potatoes, and legumes.

Fat should account for 30% or less of the calories consumed daily, with saturated fats accounting for no more than 10% of the total fat intake. We do need some fats in our body to maintain body temperature, and physically protect body tissues and organs. Fat also benefits our body by transporting the four fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E, and K.

We will find several classes of fats in our daily diet. Saturated fat found mostly in meat and dairy products can be a cause of increased blood cholesterol levels. Conversely polyunsaturated fat helps to promote lower blood cholesterol levels.

Monounsaturated fat found in both plant and animal products aids in lowering LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol).

Protein should provide ten to twenty percent of the calories consumed each day. Protein is required to maintain a strong count of red blood cells and adequate functioning of antibodies to provide a strong front against infection. It is also a primary element in normal growth and tissue repair.

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are found in a variety of foods. Meat, milk, cheese, and egg are complete proteins that have all the essential amino acids.

Other sources of protein include whole grains, rice, corn, beans, legumes, oatmeal, peas, and peanut butter. For those who do not eat meat, fish, eggs, or dairy products, it is important to eat a variety of these meat free foods in order to get enough protein. These are the primary nutrients that the body requires to keep us healthy and energetic.
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