How Does Your Body Burn Calories?

WORKSHOP REMINDER:  I’ve got 2 workshops/talks planned on Blood Sugar, and it’s relationship and effect on Weight, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Thyroid, and Mood.  The dates are Friday, August 23, 12-2, and Wednesday, August 28, 6-8pm,  the charge is $30/person, and the venue is the Marshall Community Center, 4133A Rectortown Rd, Marshall, Va.  This is literally right off Rt 66 exit, and very easy to find.  There’s plenty of parking and the room is big, so bring a friend or a family member if you’d like.

am i skinny yetEver wonder how many calories you burn during exercise?  Do you hope that an hour or two of working out will empty the fat cells on your butt, your stomach, or your thighs?  ( Or at least balance out some bad eating episodes??)

Exercise is wonderful, invigorating, and absolutely necessary for a healthy body and mind; but for weight loss or calorie burning, not so much.  (Darnit!)

How does our body burn calories?  Here’s a simple overview:

About 70% of TOTAL calories burned in a 24 hour period are burned while your body is “at rest”; actually, the number is 60-80%, and several factors play into this number:  are you growing?  sick?  male?  female?  young?  old?  training muscle/lifting or doing HIIT (high intensity interval training)?  ovulating?  stressing?  Because all these influence our bodies rate of burning calories.

What’s the biggest calorie burner in the 70%?  Your liver – it’s BUSY. ( Yes, your liver burns many, many more calories than your muscles, no matter what.  So if you’ve been telling yourself that you can’t lose weight because you never get to workout – you’ll have to think of another excuse.)  Our liver performs hundreds of functions everyday, and thru the night too.  It’s important that we not overstress the liver with chemicals, toxins, and sugar/flour.  A toxic liver is a sluggish liver, and a sluggish liver is compromised in it’s ability to do all it’s jobs/do it’s jobs fully.

The heart and brain are the next biggest calorie users.  They use between 20 and 30% of total daily calories.

exercise is hardExercise/Muscles comprise around 20% of total, daily, calorie burn, (that’s formal exercise and activity, such as cleaning/gardening/walking etc), and digestion burns calories too, about 10% of daily burn (protein and fat digestion burn more calories than carb digestion, especially if the carbs are refined and processed, i.e. flours and sugars).  Most of the calories your muscles burn get burned AT REST, not during your workout.  Surprising?  Want them to burn more calories? Lift, sprint, jump, do full body exercises: stimulate as many muscle cells as possible.  Chronic cardio, especially if coupled with inadequate protein and calories, can actually cause muscle cells to be used as fuel.  You don’t want that!

Want to really suppress your total daily burn?  Go on a low calorie/low fat diet.  Studies show this causes our Thyroid to suppress our Metabolism (the rate at which all our cells use fuel) immediately and dramatically.  Not a good idea.

What do the liver, heart, and muscle cells actually use for energy?  Well, their preferred fuel source is FAT, not glucose; but if your bloodstream is full of glucose, because you just ate a big bowl of oatmeal or pasta, or maybe you snack on carby foods all day, then you probably have a lot of glucose in your blood (you can test this with a Glucometer, normal is 80-100mg/dcl – and it’s FUN!!).  Excess glucose, from any carb sources: fruit, vegetable, grains, sugar, or beans,  is ALWAYS a priority of the body to get under control.  If it’s floating around and above 100, glucose will be used for fuel – NOT FAT.  Excess fat’s not toxic, it’s not an emergency, excess glucose is.  (Darnit Again!  Doesn’t our body know how much we hate that fat??)paleo cookbooks

Need to lose weight?  It’s the food.  Confused about what to eat? Focus on healthy protein sources, healthy fats, TONS of vegetables, some fruits, some nuts and seeds, some dairy if you tolerate it.  Check out my what I eat page, or contact me if you’re still confused or need help.  You can lose weight, permanently.  I promise.

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