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Burning calories to maintaining proper body weight

Columns 2023-06-09, 1:04am


Prof. M Zahidul Haque.

Prof. M Zahidul Haque and Tanzila Rahman

Nowadays everyone in the society become much conscious about maintaining a fair body weight and to remain slim. To accomplish this, people do dieting, exercise; take supplements to keep body weight under control.

‘Calories in-Calories out’ is a formula for weight and weight loss. A calorie is a unit of energy. Calorie or Kilocalorie is a measure of chemical energy stored in foods which transformed into heat and mechanical energy in the body. Calories in and Calories out suggests that the food, such as, carbohydrate, fat and protein we eat produces ‘Calories in’ while ‘Calories out’ is the calories burned for energy for calorie expenditure through metabolic processes and physical exercise. According to the law of Thermodynamics, if one burns more calories than one consumes, one will lose weight. However, the capacity of burning calories varies from person to person.

Tanzila Rahman, UAO, Ramu

The daily calories intake is 2000 for female and 2500 for male. In fact, calories intake varies depending on age, metabolism, level of physical activities, and the like. If one takes less than average calories, one will lose the strength to do physical activities.

There is no zero calories food; only plain water contains zero calories! A human being need sufficient amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat to get calories for to fulfilling his energy requirement for proper functioning of the body system. 

It is not just the amount of calories one consumes but the source, type of foods one eats which affects different aspects of health including glucose level, hormones, etc. In addition to insulin, the foods one eats can affect hormones like leptin and ghrelin, which regulates one’s appetite.

In fact, there is no ‘magic pill’ as often suggests by manufacturers which can burn extra calories daily. It would be wise not to go for irrational dieting or taking supplements for burning calories to losing weight. A balanced and appropriate amount of food intake can help to maintaining a healthy body weight. Over-eating plus eating foods with high sugar need to be avoided. At the same time, one has to do exercise, walking, and other physical activities to burning body fat. Foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids and certain antioxidants can help in keeping body weight under control. Followings are some of the common foods which can burn fats and reduce extra calories: 

--Fatty fishes such as salmon, Hilsa, etc, rich in Omega-3 can keep the weight okay.

--Coffee and Tea: Caffeine in coffee boosts metabolism in addition to improving mental and physical performance helps in fat burning. Green tea among other benefits boosts metabolism promoting weight loss. Plain black tea is almost caffeine-free can help in weight loss.

--Eggs are known as nutritional powerhouse. They can help in reducing weight.

Studies have found that egg-based breakfasts reduce hunger and promote feeling of fullness for several hours and ensure fewer intakes of foods.

Other foods include chili peppers, olive oil, apples, beets, beans, broccoli, cabbage, yogurt, Brussels sprouts, etc. can help in proper digestion of food and in fat burning. Spinach and other green leafy vegetables are not only nutritious but ideal for burning belly fats To maintain a healthy body weight, one should avoid high calorie food containing sugar and fruits excessively sweet like pineapple and mangoes.

(Prof. M Zahidul Haque recently retired as Professor and was also a former Dean of Faculty of Agriculture at Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka.

Tanzila Rahman (BCS-Agri) is Upazila Agriculture Officer, Ramu, Cox’s Bazar)