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How does the body lose weight?

The body loses weight (bodyfat) by burning more calories than what is consumed or eaten. The human body burns a certain amount of calories in order to perform metabolic processes necessary to sustain life. This is called resting metabolism. An individual may increase their resting metabolism by performing resistance training that increases muscle density. This allows an individual to burn even more calories (including stored bodyfat) at rest. An individual may enhance the weight loss process by continuing a regimen of resistance and cardiovascular training on a routine basis and by eating nutrient dense foods in portions that do not exceed the amount of calories being burned.
Our bodies require a certain amount of energy (think of it like fuel for a car). We run on this fuel, and we need to replenish it when it is low. Our hunger is like the gas light on a car, telling you it is time to refuel. However, if you put too much fuel in a car, it will simply spill out of the gas tank. Not so with us. When we eat too much – meaning more than our body needs - we are able to store it. Our bodies have an unlimited potential to store fat. So we can overeat, continuously for a long time, and keep storing more fat. Scientists call this an energy imbalance. Which means we have eaten more than we need. In order to lose this fat, once accumulated, we must eat less than we need. We still need nutrients, because they body can’t survive on stored fat alone. We need to provide slightly less energy than our body needs, so it uses our stored body fat to make up the difference. Over time this “reserve tank” will get smaller and smaller as we achieve a healthier weight. We measure this fuel in calories – whether we are measuring the input side (the foods we eat) or the output side – the energy our body pays out to meet its daily needs. To successfully lose weight, you must pay out more than you put in, or put in less than you put out.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.