body fat

In this blog I’d like to explain how the body stores or burns body fat, I will use the truth and absolute science of calories to explain this.

The best way to do this is to use a typical person, as an example. Our example is a female that is 25 years old and weighs 140 pounds.

Based on the formula: pounds of body weight divided by 2.2 x .9 x 24, our subject would have a 10% above sedentary caloric maintenance need of about 1400 cal per day. For our purposes, let’s assume this is absolutely correct, not accounting for any extra daily activity level, cost of digestion, etc..

We as humans are designed to be able to store fat in the event of a season without food, a long cold winter, a famine, or the like. Based on my research, I think this is between 10 and 20 pounds of fat. It’s pretty obvious that most of us have much more than this.

Now, back to our subject. If she eats 1500 cal today (100 above her maintenance need) she will store 100 cal worth of fat. Conversely, if she 1300 cal today her body will take 100 cal from storage (her body’s fat stores). We know that it takes 3500 cal to constitute 1 pound of fat. Now just do the math. If our subject eats 1500 cal per day for 35 days, that’s 35×100 or 3500 excess calories over 35 days. She will gain 1 pound of fat in this time frame. If she eats 1300 per day for 35 days her body will use 1 pound of what is stored in her system. It really is that simple.

You may say, why doesn’t she just eat nothing for a few days and she will lose it much faster? This is true. However, if you eat greater than 1000 cal less than your caloric need each day you will begin to burn muscle for energy. This is because the body has a limited capacity to convert stored body fat to energy. It can only convert about 1000 cal per day to usable energy running at maximum efficiency. Also, the less you eat in volume, the less likely you are to get enough nutrition (vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients) in total and variety.

The only situations where this is not valid are when medications are involved that affect the amount of water your body contains (excess fluid or dehydration) or the subject has a diagnosed thyroid or metabolism problem. I will address these issues in another blog.

Eating late at night will make you Fat

Myth number 2 in the series..Eating after 8pm makes you fat

The truth is, we usually eat our quota of calories (the number of calories needed to maintain our current weight) by 8pm, then we eat excess calories after 8pm. These calories don’t make us fatter BECAUSE we eat them then lay down and sleep but rather because these calories represent excess calories for the day. In addition, the foods we generally eat after 8pm are the sweeter, better tasting, higher calorie foods.  It does’t take much of these choices to add lots of calories to our day.

Hello and Welcome!

First, I’d like to introduce myself: My name is John Howie and I live in Monroe, North Carolina. You can check out all my credentials on my site.

I’m setting out on a mission to help you achieve your fitness and nutrition goals. I don’t subscribe to fads or the latest “fixes.” Rather my approach to fitness is science based and comes from over 40 years of experience with clients. There are certain truths in weight control that are absolute and non changing. I will be posting logs on a regular basis relating to fitness, weight control, and fat loss as well as weight training. Please feel free to comment on my logs at any time.

Motivation+Education+Information=Results.

John Howie