In an attempt to get fit and lose fat fast, many drastic and dangerous diet plans are being tried such as burning 1000 calories a day in different ways and experimented with. Of course, the attempt should be moving towards a healthy lifestyle and not get entangled into unhealthy and impractical methods of getting fit.
Therefore, it is always advisable to thoroughly understand and analyse the options and decide if it suits you and will be beneficial in the long run.
Burning 1000 Calories A Day?
At the onset this herculean goal of burning 1000 calories a day, itself is misplaced. If someone really is able to do it, it will come with lots of issues. While the biggest problem would be serious injuries that can result from such a venture.
Additionally, severe muscle fatigue, ligament injuries, cramps, overworked respiratory system, dehydration, giddiness are sure to manifest if you are not used to this kind of punishing goal.
Moreover, burning 1000 calories a day is equivalent to losing a third of a pound of weight. A drastic decrease in weight will adversely affect:
- Your immune system
- Damage your heart
- Decrease your energy.
- Increase Irritability,
- Result in constipation or diarrhoea,
- Loss of muscle,
- Loss of hair,
- Mensural issues,
- Result in an imbalance of electrolyte,
- Lastly, allstones may also manifest.
The stress levels go up and metabolism is disrupted.
The intent of burning 1000 calories a day was to achieve better health and it might take you to a clinic or a doctor and you might hit the bed for a couple of days.
Like anything else in life, too much of calorie burning at any point of time is too bad.
Additionally, weight loss also does not necessarily mean, loss of fat. It is not possible for the body to burn lots of fat rapidly. This could mean that you are losing water and lean muscle too. This is definitely not healthy and must be avoided.
Moreover, if required to manage weight or balance the body composition, burning calories is necessary, but do it sensibly rather than try losing 1000 calories a day.
Is It Possible To Burn 1000 Calories A Day?
The opinion seems to be hugely divided on this. But if analysed closely, the answer is very clear. All those in the business of selling dreams of losing 1000 calories every day (super fitness programmes), losing 7-10 kg every month and the overnight miracle of fitting into old slimmer clothes, would vehemently vouch, that this is possible.
And all those who have either tried it or understand human physiology and nutrition will tell you this is a gimmick.
Moreover, it would be worthwhile here to delve into some details of how 1000 calories can be burnt:
- 4000 – 5000 jumping jacks done continuously will burn 1000 calories
- At 6mph if you walk continuously for 2 hours you will lose 1000 calories.
- Running continuously at 8 mph for an hour will burn 1000 calories
- Swimming for 90-120 will burn 1000 calories.
- Cycling at 15mph for 90 – 120 minutes will burn 1000 calories.
The Real Question
First of all, these activities and some more “if done” can burn 1000 calories. Can a person who is not very athletic and practised really “do” such a task?
But can a normal person, who is not so fit and dreams to get fit, even think of doing any of the above things and that too, every day!
And that’s the reason why we have divided opinion on this. Yes, technically and by calculation, you can definitely prove that 1000 calories can be burnt in a day, but barring a few superhumans, no one can burn 1000 calories in a day, every day.
To add up, as informed and intelligent individuals, we have to take cognizance of the above situation and chart our course of action of getting fit, healthy and long life.
Furthermore, with this purpose and goal in mind, burning 1000 calories per day is not possible and should not be attempted.
Dangers Of Burning 1000 Calories A Day
Any attempt to burn 1000 calories by a normal person would result in unpleasant situations, which should be avoided.
- One may end up in some severe medical complications.
- It may adversely affect your mental and hormonal balance.
- It would increase your stress levels and that could trigger some psychosomatic disturbances.
- Even if you do it, you most probably would not lose weight, because you would end up eating much more than what you used to do.
- There is no way anyone can do the required physical regime every day. So, no point in doing it at all.
Safe Option For Sensible Goals
Even without doing anything physical, the body consumes a large number of calories almost up to 1000 calories! For its survival, the body does lots of activities internally, like the pumping of heart, breathing, digestion, brain activity and the likes. All these activities account for a large percentage of the total calories burnt by the body. This is known as BMR (Basal Metabolism Rate).
This rate varies with individuals and a muscular body has higher BMR than a fat body. But the average BMR of an adult can be safely assumed to be around 1000 calories. Men being more muscular than women generally have a higher BMR.
A general consensus among all nutrition experts and medical professionals is that a male adult should intake 1500 – 1800 calories and female adult should have 1200- 1500 calories. This ensures proper nutrition to the body, without any dangers of malnutrition or nutrition-related disorders. Out of these around 1500 calories, 1000 calories are burnt up because of BMR.
Now we need to worry only about 500 – 600 calories, which is extra over the BMR. Burning around 500 calories is a sensible goal to set and achieve. This has been arrived at very logically. Even if somebody is bulky and need to cut fat, the goal can be set to 600 -650 calories and gradually over a period of time the body can be toned. Gradual fat and calorie burning are clearly advantageous in terms of health and long-term weight management.
The regularity of exercise and diet will ultimately achieve the goal of physical fitness.
Calorie Burn Rate Is Dependent On:
- Body composition
- Current weight
- The intensity of the workout.
Apart from workout sessions, N.E.A.T (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) can also be adapted to burn fat. N.E.A.T has proved to burn up to 350 calories in a day. Using stairs to climb, walking when you talk on the phone, getting up and getting your own coffee, finding reasons to move around the whole day, gardening and cleaning on weekends and the like are the activities which make up N.E.A.T. Essentially all those physical activities that you can do without going to the gym can be categorised as N.E.A.T
It is very simple and easy to adopt NEAT in our lifestyle. It keeps you active and happy too.
Activities That Burn The Most Calories
Air Fit, running, TurboKick, Zumba, kickboxing, cardio, weight training, HIIT for around 45 minutes can burn around 400 – 500 calories.
The outdoor enthusiast can do rock climbing, cross country running, swimming, water aerobics, playing handball, football for 45 – 60 minutes to burn around 500 – 600 calories.
In the gym, sweating it out on the elliptical trainer, rowing machine, high impact aerobics, cross trainer and good old treadmill can burn 500 – 600 calories.
Adding variety and variations in your workout, will not only keep it interesting but also make it more effective.
Avensible and healthy eating should complement the physical effort for sustained and efficient results.
How Do We Calculate The Calories Burnt?
The calorie-burning rate is derived from a very simple formula
CALORIES BURNT/ HOUR = M.E.T X BODY WEIGHT IN KGS.
Where M.E.T stands for Metabolic Equivalent of Task. This value is derived for different activities and is available as a standard data for various activities. The M.E.T values can be directly taken from these standard reference table.
1 M.E.T is defined as 1kcal/kg/hour and this is roughly equivalent to the energy expended by a person when sitting quietly.
If the bodyweight is known in pounds, multiply it by 2.2 to get weight in kilograms.
TABLE SHOWING MET VALUES OF VARIOUS ACTIVITIES:
|LIGHT INTENSITY ACTIVITIES||< 3|
|1.Writing, desk work, using computer||1.5|
|Moderate intensity activities||3 to 6|
|1. Walking 3.0 mph (4.8 km/h)||3.0|
|2.Sweeping or mopping floors, vacuuming carpets||3 to 3.5|
|3.Yoga session with asanas and pranayama||3.3|
|Vigorous intensity activities||>= 6|
|1.Aerobic dancing, medium effort||6.0|
|2.Bicycling, on flat, 10–12 mph (16–19 km/h), light effort||6.0|
|6.Swimming moderately to hard||8 to 11|
|7.Jogging, 5.6 mph (9.0 km/h)||8.8|
|8.Rope jumping (66/min)||9.8|
|9.Jogging, 6.8 mph (10.9 km/h)||11.2|
suppose your body weight is 175 lbs and you play Basketball for 1 hour
then the calories burnt can be calculated as
Calories burnt per hour = M.E.T x weight in kgs.
= 8 x 79.5 kg
= 636 calories.
This simple calculation enables you to make your own workout schedule depending on your sensible goals. It is better to rotate activities to keep it interesting and effective.
Roughly 3500 calories are needed to be burnt to lose 1 lb of fat. Now just simple arithmetic can set your sensible and achievable goal, without any adverse effect.
Calculating Body Fat
Everybody carries some percentage of fat and it is not so easy to calculate body fat percentage. Over a period of time some methods, with varying degree of accuracy, have been developed and used.
The ideal body fat percentage for men is between 8 -19% and for women, it is 21-33%
Some of the simple and practical methods to calculate fat percentage/index are;
Body Mass Index (BMI)
It is a method to estimate body mass index, based on the height and weight of the body. Though not very accurate, it serves most of the purpose of a common man to estimate body fat.
You need to know your weight in lbs and height in inches. The following formula will give you the BMI index.
BMI = weight in lbs X 703
(height in inches)2
The resultant BMI can be deduced to determine your body category
Less than 18.5 is categorised as Underweight
Between 18.5 and 24.9 is categorised as Normal weight.
Between 24.9 to 29.9 is considered overweight.
Over 30 is categorised as obese.
As shown in the picture, specialised callipers are available, with which measurements can be taken at various places on the body. These measurements can be just noted down and maintained in a log and every week one can check and monitor the progress.
Alternatively, these readings can be substituted in the formulas provided by the calliper manufacturers to find fat percentage in the body. It is very easy and convenient to use.
Body Circumference Measurement
This method is a little complicated and followed by the US army to measure the fat percentage of the body.
For men, the following data is needed
- Circumference of waist
- Circumference of neck
These data are substituted in the following formula to find a fat percentage.
Fat percentage =86.010 x log10(abdomen – neck) – 70.041 x log10(height) + 36.76.
In the case of women additionally, the circumference of the waist is also needed and the formula would be
Lastly, body fat percentage =163.205 x log10(waist + hip – neck) – 97.684 x log10(height) – 78.387
The person is weighed normally on the ground and then he is weighed underwater. These two figures are substituted in a formula and the fat percentage is deduced.
Additionally, this works on the principle that a fat person will weigh less in water and a muscular person will weigh more in water.
Above all, this method is quite expensive and only professional health centres may have this facility.
Ideal Body Fat Percentage
Similarly, the body fat percentage is different for men and women, basically because of the difference in body constitution.
The American Council on exercise has the following guidelines for body fat percentage in women.
As a matter of fact, fat percentage beyond 32% is considered to be obese. Though this chart does not factor in the age, still it does provide a good indicative figure to work with.
Similarly, for men, they have the following guidelines.
Additionally, it is considered obese in the case of men if the fat percentage is beyond 25%.
Furthermore, these figures help determine the state of the body, other parameters like energy level, flexibility, type of work, genetics and general health are also to be considered when you plan to go in for a workout schedule.
Ways To Reduce The Fat Percentage Of Our Body
First of all, once you have decided to reduce the fat percentage of the body, it is vital to create a time-based plan to reduce fat. Therefore, the plan should be holistic and should include workout, diets, and lifestyle.
Above all, think about a monitoring system, where the logs can be maintained and you can check your progress against the plan.
The following suggestions would help you decide your own plan:
- Along with cardio, include resistance training or weight training as well. Pumping weights will add to muscle mass which increases your Basal Metabolism Rate and helps cut fat faster. Also known as strength training, the weight training will tone you faster and the increased muscle strength will keep you going with your workout plan.
- Increase your protein intake substantially. High protein diet will not only help your body recover faster from the exercise fatigue, but it helps burn fat faster, Ideally, if your body weight is 60 kg then you need to have 90 -120 gms of protein every day. You have huge choices of protein-rich food, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian.
- Sleep at least 7 – 8 hours a day. Good sleep helps burn fat faster. It also aids the recovery of your muscles, which helps in a satisfying workout.
- Additionally, keep away from carbonated drinks, high energy drinks, and alcoholic beverages. Have lots of plain water. In other words, go for probiotic food.
- Increase high fibre content food as it absorbs water and gives you a fuller feeling. Craving for food and hunger reduces because of high fibre food.
- After a few weeks of regular cardio and weight training, try High-Intensity Interval Training, under the guidance of a physical trainer, for it helps reduce fat much faster.
- To avoid monotony and boredom, also include outdoor activities like long walks, jog, swimming, or playing tennis, hockey or any other high-intensity games in lieu of workout four to five times a month.
- Also, the weight loss or fat burn programme should be fun and enjoyable, rather than punishing and boring.
- Avoid late-night parties, junk food. Do not sit for long at one go.
- Lastly, wherever and whenever possible try N.E.A.T