News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Valley Life

September 1, 2013

CHRIS DAVIES: Fewer calories, more movement. It’s that simple.

Food is vital to sustaining life. Too much or too little food can negatively impact your health and eventually lead to disease that can kill you. Just enough food, coupled with consistent physical activity and the occasional splurge, can have you at a healthy weight, full of energy, and living well.

Quality and quantity of the foods you consume is important to good health and weight loss or maintenance. However, there is still only one way to lasting weight loss: consistently burning more calories than you consume. There are three ways you expend calories, but only one that you can really contribute to through exercise.

Resting Metabolic Rate

RMR is the calories your body requires to exist and maintain bodily functions. RMR accounts for roughly 65 percent 75 percent of your daily calorie expenditure. You can beef up your RMR by increasing your muscle mass.

Thermic Effect of Food

TEF is the calories required to process and digest food you consume. TEF accounts for five percent to 10 percent of daily calorie expenditure. Forget the catabolic diets that encourage you to eat foods that require more calories to digest than they contain. They are a gimmick and ridiculous.

Physical Activity Energy Expenditure

PAEE is the calories you expend during physical activity. These include exercise, activities of daily living, and anything else that does not have to do with metabolic functions of the body. Yes, even sex. PAEE accounts for 15 percent to 30 percent of calories expended but can vary depending on the amount and intensity of activity you perform.

Weight loss is like a checking account that works in reverse. A normal checking account should have more money in it than total of checks written. A good weight loss program, like Weight Watchers, and serious lifestyle changes, would have you bouncing checks because you would spend more than you make. Let me rephrase that: to lose weight you must expend more calories than you consume.

I understand losing weight is not easy. Some have what it takes and others do not. Let’s start by increasing our PAEE through more activity each day and eating a little less. That information alone is worth the price of all the money some have spent on weight loss pills, potions, diets, and gimmicks bought through the years.

To keep things in perspective, you need to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories to lose one pound. You could walk 35 miles a week to burn 3,500 calories. An easier equation would have you consuming 250 fewer calories and walking 2.5 miles each day. Your daily calorie deficit would be roughly 500. Do that for seven days and there is one pound lost. You can tinker with the equation, but when faced with a consistent deficit you will lose weight.

Get up and get moving.

Chris Davies, MS, will soon be expanding Fitness Solutions at 1101 Walnut St. Like us on Facebook at THFitnessSolutions. Or email Chris at

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