Everybody knows how to lose weight and stay thin. Do you recall seeing the same sentence earlier in the book? The reason why I've reiterated it here is that, for years, Americans have been obsessed with only one side of the crucial dieting equation: the number of calories they consume. In one diet program after another, proponents have tried—and failed—to prove that reducing the intake of calories is the one and only answer to weight loss. Surveys show that 140 million Americans (about half of the population) are on diets right now but that 60 percent of Americans are overweight! Even worse, past studies reveal that a full 95 percent of those who are dieting will fail to achieve permanent weight loss.
To date, more than a hundred different dieting strategies have been devised. Most of them have been disseminated in book form, and virtually all of them claim that reducing calories is the Holy Grail, whereas nothing could be further from the truth.
□ Physical Activity
□ Thermic Effect of Food
Categories of Energy Expenditure in Humans
Your metabolism is far more important. Here's why.
We humans expend energy (calories) in three ways: by increasing our resting metabolic rate, by engaging in physical activity, and through the process of thermogenesis (the burning of calories that occurs when we digest and metabolize our food).
More than half of the calories we expend during the day are burned up by a process known as resting metabolism or basal metabolism, which consists of the burning of calories for the purpose of producing energy to sustain life and maintain normal bodily functions such as respiration and circulation. In an average male, resting metabolism is responsible for as
much as 60 to 75 percent of the total calories burned. As we shall see in the chapters on exercise, however, resting metabolism is highly dependent on lean muscle mass and will form one of the key components that we're going to exploit in order to raise your metabolism over the long term.
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