“Summer is coming and I want to look good in a bikini. I have to start my diet so I can lose weight before the beach weather arrives.” Have you said some variation of this to yourself? Or to someone else?
The dictionary definition of diet is a : food and drink regularly provided or consumed “a diet of fruits and vegetables a vegetarian diet” b : habitual nourishment “links between diet and disease” c : the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason “was put on a low-sodium diet” d : a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight “going on a diet.” (Miriam-Webster Dictionary)
The dictionary definition of eat is to take in through the mouth as food : ingest, chew, and swallow in turn (Miriam-Webster Dictionary)
When most people hear the word diet, they think of the latter definition, “a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight (as in going on a diet).” When I hear the word diet, I think of the food that I consume daily (as in, my diet consists of a variety of foods including fruits, vegetables, proteins and carbs). So for me, diet and eating go hand in hand. I eat a variety of foods as part of my daily diet.
The word diet has developed a negative connotation over the years because of society’s perception. A diet seems to have the stigma of punishment for those that have gained body fat (or the popular term “weight”) due to a number of reasons, mainly because we’ve overindulged in food and drink. So in order to lose that “weight” we must restrict calories and certain foods to achieve our goal of fitting into a bikini and looking good in it.
What the general population doesn’t seem to know is that our bodies require energy in order to function, to breathe, to move, to live! Where does that energy come from? Mostly the food we eat. All living systems require an ongoing supply of energy. Energy is the ability to cause specific changes. So if we restrict that energy, what do you think will happen?
All energy comes from the transfer of energy that is stored in macronutrients (proteins, carbs and fats) via digestion, absorption, assimilation, transportation and ultimately metabolism. The body needs energy for thousands of different functions required for LIFE! That vast majority of that daily energy intake goes toward carrying on the basic life processes.
Metabolism is the process by which our bodies convert what we eat and drink into energy. During this complex process, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy our bodies need to function. Even when we’re at rest, our bodies need energy for all its “hidden” functions, such as breathing, circulating blood, adjusting hormone levels, and growing and repairing cells.
There are generally three major goals associated with knowing how much energy and therefore calories are needed each day:
- lose weight (preferably fat)
- put on weight (preferably lean body mass/muscle)
- maintain weight
Calculating your energy requirements is not at all difficult as long as you are aware of your BMR and the factors that affect it. Based on our goals, we can easily calculate the number of calories our bodies require to achieve that goal.
Need help with figuring out your energy requirements? Sign up for my blog http://www.myflexibledieting.blog and follow my page http://www.facebook.com/myflexibledieting for more tips and stay tuned for what’s to come to help you lose the body fat and learn more about flexible dieting!
Cheers to your health!