Our expert says:
The idea that our bodies are like combustion engines - energy in equals energy out within a short space of time, is unfortunately too simplistic. When you eat a meal, consisting of proteins, fats and carbs, the carbs are immediately turned into glucose which enters the blood and is available for physical exercise and to feed your brain and other body cells. The proteins are broken down to amino acids which are transported to various body cells and recombined to form new body proteins. The fats are either absorbed as fat droplets per se or broken down to fatty acids and glycerol for transport to and storage in the fat depots. If you eat a fatty meal, the energy in the fat will thus be available as fatty acid and glycerol and the chances that you will use it for immediate energy are poor. To mobilise energy stored in the fat depots, you need to ingest less energy than you are expending by using a low-fat, reduced-energy diet and increasing your energy expenditure by doing high intensity exercise like running, jogging, cycling and rowing. When you do this will not really influence which fat is used for energy - fat you ate yesterday for months ago. As a rule of thumb you need to do a combination of high intensity exercise to use up the maximum amount of energy and some lower intensity, weight-bearing exercise to firm your body. The number of calories you burn up during an exercise session also do not reflect the total effect of that exercise on your body weight because exercise increases your basic metabolic rate for hours and even days after a workout which will also contribute to weight loss - this is a difficult thing to quantify. The so-called negative calorie-foods are lettuce, cucumber, gherkins, green peppers, tomatoes, watercress, spinach (raw), etc - vegetables which mainly consist of water - but none of these vegs will keep you going esp if you do so much exercise.
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