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IBSILON12 SparkPoints: (917)
Fitness Minutes: (675)
Posts: 16
6/18/14 6:50 A

Thanks for the replies... it's interesting reading. I think that perhaps I have been overlooking a lot of 'incidental' exercise I do throughout the day, and that I'm probably burning a lot more energy than I think. Just walking to and from train stations, changing trains (always involving walking up and down stairs) would be a minimum of 60 minutes quite fast walking on weekdays, and then things like walking to the supermarket and carrying shopping back on weekends would be an absolute minimum 20min walking, while carrying heavy bags. I can't think of a time in my adult life where this wouldn't have been the case - I have never driven to work, for example, and would move around quite a lot at work when I got there. So, even when I weighed 90 kilos (several years ago now), I was probably burning something like 400 calories a day just through walking, before I even thought about going to the gym. I guess I thought that this was just normal, but I suppose if you drove to work and had a desk job, you would need a lot less energy from food.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,375
6/17/14 10:40 A

As many (but not all) forms of exercise are weight bearing, the major factor in calories burned is total body weight, not body composition. It takes that much effort to shift that much mass, regardless of whether it is fat or muscle.

However, when activated through exercise, muscle does burn calories, and a more muscular person will burn a few more calories than a person of the same weight but higher body fat %, but the difference is pretty small.

Looking more specifically at some numbers, muscle typically burns about 10-14 calories per pound per day. 10 for a less active person, while a serious strength training program might lift it to 14. The boost from regular cardio might just be from 10 to 11.

The amount of muscle a person carries depends on a very wide range of factors, but for the purposes of discussion, lets say an average woman has 40 lbs of muscle. If you had an additional 5 lbs of muscle (which would change body composition by several percentage points), then the extra burn from cardio might only be 5 calories -.not much in the context of a cardio workout burning several hundred calories, and probably less than the margin of error in a calorie estimate anyway.


PS. Sorry, the detour into some math got more complex than I though it would.

IBSILON12 SparkPoints: (917)
Fitness Minutes: (675)
Posts: 16
6/17/14 8:21 A

Thanks for the reply - yes, that sounds a lot like me. I seem to be able to eat a lot more calories in protein than anything else, and don't have a huge problem with fats (obviously not too many), but like you will put on weight if I eat pasta, white bread, even couscous... it must have something to do with muscle mass, and as you say possible food sensitivities. I think I'll just try changing my nutrition goals on here and see how it goes... give myself a bigger protein goal.

PSCHIAVONE2 SparkPoints: (20,629)
Fitness Minutes: (13,280)
Posts: 783
6/17/14 8:12 A

All the charts are calculated around an average person. Since I have never met a person who is average in every way, the charts are no more than crude guidelines so people can have a starting point. Your ability to metabolize food is very complicated and individualized. Muscle needs more energy than fat to stay in that state. Also, you may have hidden sensitivities to certain foods that may hinder your metabolism. If I eat 50% of my calories from carbs, even at only 1800 calories a day, I tend to gain fat. If I change the percentages to 33 carb, 33 fat, and 33 protein I will lose weight at that same 1800 calories per day. I have also found for me, the best carbs to eat come from vegetables and some fruit. A lot of the cereal grains give me boating and gas and other intestinal difficulties. Beans, legumes, and vegetables are better for me. That is why there are so many eating systems out there and you can almost always find someone who can lose weight and be more healthy on that system.

IBSILON12 SparkPoints: (917)
Fitness Minutes: (675)
Posts: 16
6/17/14 6:38 A

Hi, sorry if this has been asked somewhere else - I did a search but couldn't find a similar topic. I wanted to ask about how your body composition (how much muscle to fat but also body shape) relates to how much energy you burn while exercising, and how much/what time of 'fuel' (i.e. food!) you should be eating.

I have noticed that, having quite a naturally muscular frame, and being hour-glass shaped, I tend to be healthiest at a higher body weight than some charts recommend (right at the top of the healthy weight chart), and also seem to be able to eat a lot more food (especially protein) that other people who are around my height and weight. I also wear a dress size that seems to be smaller than my weight would suggest. Following the normal calorie guidelines, I lose weight at about twice the rate I 'should', (according to the guidelines). I don't think that I have a particularly high metabolism (I'm not naturally thin at all!), so is this common? Is it just a question of body composition? I wasn't sure whether to post this in 'diet and nutrition' or here, because it covers both, but I just don't seem to follow the usual charts.

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