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Back to Basics: How The Body Burns Calories

This may seem like sixth grade science class all over again but if you are trying to lose calories, then you should know the basics of how your body burns them. Here are the three primary functions the body uses for burning calories from

  • Basal metabolic rate. Your BMR accounts for about 60% of your daily calorie burn, and is simply there to keep your body alive, irrespective of your activity levels.
  • Activity and exercise. The fuel that you require for your daily activities – from every small movements through to harder exercise – accounts for the next 30% of your calorie expenditure.
  • Thermogenesis. Every time you eat, digest, absorb and utilize food, heat is generated – which is referred to as the ‘thermogenic effect’. This meal-induced heat production accounts for the remaining 10% of your calorie expenditure.

So it is important to always keep the three primary calorie burning functions in mind when going through our weight loss journey. Especially activity and exercise as this is the one area where most of us are majorly lacking -- Coincidentally it also happens to be the area that we have the most control over.


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krisua krisua 9 years
Very good reminder indeed!
krisua krisua 9 years
Very good reminder indeed!
sugababee sugababee 9 years
good info to know.
sugababee sugababee 9 years
good info to know.
bizzybee bizzybee 9 years
Oh. And I'd also like to add, go out and find some kind of movement or activity that makes you happy, people. I think it's one of the single most positive and life-altering things you can do for yourself. Trust.
bizzybee bizzybee 9 years
Nice conclusion, Fit! Like the highlighting of the activity and exercise factor coupled with the comment it's the one we have the most control over.
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