Every year thousands of articles are written on how to lose weight, and each of them suggests a different way to do it. The truth, however, is that any excess weight you may have is related to the number of calories you take in and how many you consume each day. It is as simple as that, and no one can prove otherwise. It’s like the gasoline you put in your car: you put so much and you travel so far. In the case of your body, you eat a certain amount of food and it sustains you for a certain period of time. If you eat more than you consume, the excess calories are stored as fat.

Let’s consider in detail the calories you take in and consume each day. It turns out that there are three main types of calorie burning. The first is known as the basal metabolic rate or BMR. It is the largest of the three and is your resting metabolism; in other words, it’s the number of calories you burn when sitting down. It is used to feed cells, keep the heart beating, the lungs working, the brain working, etc. About 60 to 80 percent of the total calories you burn each day are BMR calories.

The second largest calorie burn comes from the thermionic effect of eating. It may seem a bit strange, but calories are needed to burn calories, in other words, to digest food. For protein you need about 25 calories for every 100 calories consumed, and for carbohydrates and fat you need about 10 to 15 calories for every 100 calories consumed. And that can add up to a substantial amount of calories. It accounts for between 10 and 30 percent of the total calories you burn each day.

Finally we come to the one that might surprise you, namely exercise and body movement in general. Most people think that exercise makes a big contribution, but it doesn’t. This does not mean that it is not important, it is. You can easily burn 500 calories in an intensive workout, but in general, for most people, exercise and body movement account for only about 10 to 15 percent of the calories they burn in a day.

Now let’s apply the above to a typical woman and man. First of all, we need the BMR formulas, and they are as follows:

Adult male: 66+ (6.3 times your body weight in pounds) + (12.9 times your height in inches) – (6.8 times your age in years).

Adult female: 655 + (4.3 times her weight in pounds) + (4.7 times her height in inches) – (4.7 times her age in years).

As an example, we will assume that you are a 40-year-old woman who weighs 140 pounds and is five foot two. Plugging in the appropriate numbers we find her BMR to be 1360. For her thermionic calories, we multiply .15 times the total number of calories she ate for the day. Suppose it was in 1900; therefore, your thermionic calories are 285. The contribution of exercise and body movement is a bit more difficult to determine exactly, as it depends on the intensity and duration of exercise throughout the day. We’ll assume it didn’t work; in this case your contribution will probably be about 200 calories. And this gives you a grand total of 1845 calories.

If you consumed 1,900 calories during the day, you are eating an excess of 55 calories. This doesn’t sound like much, but in two months (if you do this every day) you’ll gain a pound and in a year you’ll gain 6 pounds. (I’m using the fact that there are 3500 calories in a pound here).

Let’s do the same thing with a 40-year-old man who is six feet tall and weighs 170 pounds. Substituting in our BMR formula we get 1793. In this case we will assume a caloric intake of 2600; multiplying it by 0.15 gives 390 for the thermionic calories of it. For exercise and body movement, let’s say he consumes 300 calories (this means he didn’t exercise during the day). Therefore, his grand total is 2483, and if he ate 2600 calories for the day, he would be in excess of 117 calories. This will add up to a pound of weight every 30 days and about 12 pounds in a year.

It’s easy to see from this that weight gain can go unnoticed if you’re not careful. Even a few excess calories each day can add up to significant weight gain over the year. The best way to monitor how well you’re balancing your calories in and out is, of course, to weigh yourself every so often, and if you find yourself gaining weight gradually, you should take steps to turn things around as soon as possible. . You will need to slightly reduce your calorie intake or exercise more. And I’d like to emphasize that while exercise doesn’t seem to make much of a contribution to the total calories we consume in a day, it can be very important. As I mentioned earlier, a good workout can burn up to 500 calories, and this could easily offset any excess you may have.