We count them, cut them, burn them, obsess over them. Yet for most people, calories — what they are, how they affect us — remain a mystery. For instance, a 2009 poll of 1,000 people revealed that 70 percent were concerned about their weight, but only 11 percent knew how many calories they could eat each day without gaining. In fact, because of the growing obesity problem many governments are requiring that companies do even more to make the consumer aware of exactly how many Calories they are consuming.
What is a Calorie?
A calorie is a unit of energy. Technically a calorie is the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water up 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit). When applied to food, we are actually talking about a kiloCalorie (1000 calories). However the word Calorie (note capitalization) is used in most literature.
The measure of Calories gives us an indication of the potential energy that food possesses. This can easily be calculated with the following formula:
1 gram of Protein = 4 Calories
1 gram of Carbohydrate = 4 Calories
1 gram of Fat = 9 Calories
1 gram of Alcohol = 7 Calories
Therefore Calories can be calculated simply by knowing the amount of these three building blocks in the food.
The body burns calories by a process called metabolism. This process uses enzymes to break down the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into materials that can be transported through the bloodstream and used by cells. Here the energy is either used immediately or stored for later. Generally the calories that are stored, are stored as fat.
Therefore if you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. If you consume more calories than your body can use, you will gain weight. (Weight variance could be either muscle or fat).
At Concept 10 10 we often get asked about strength training for women. Will it be too strenuous and will I end up looking like a body builder?
Women have the same musculoskeletal system as men so it is safe for women to strength train. You will not ‘bulk up’ with health-oriented strength training. Bulking up is very much a hormonal balance in the body and as woman we have estrogen which allows for us to be lean and toned. As muscle strength grows, your muscles will attain more mass. However, health-oriented strength training aims to increase muscle strength, tone, mass and endurance as opposed to strength, mass and power. Concept 10 10 training has significant health benefits for women of all ages:
Aids in the management of chronic conditions – arthritis, diabetes, obesity, back pain
Increases BMR (basal metabolic rate)
Give us more emery because of stronger muscles
Increases the strength in total body workout. The more you have developed your muscles it will aid you in doing daily activities which will reduce the risk of injury.
Improves your ability to carry out daily work, home and recreational activities with lots of ease and having the feeling of being fit.
Helps prevent Osteoporosis which helps with bone loss to the female body.
Toning of muscles in the body which gives us a toned look.
Improves our postures as a direct cause of muscles training
Enhances a feeling of physical and emotional and mental wellbeing
Osteoporosis means “porous bones” and is a serious condition in which the bones become weak and fragile, leading to a higher risk of fractures (breaks or cracks) than in normal bone. The perception that osteoporosis, as a condition, only affects some post-menopausal women is incorrect. According to Osteoporosis New Zealand bone loss in women can begin as early as age 25 and according to Osteoporosis Australia one in three men in Australia over the age of sixty will suffer a fracture due to osteoporosis. Loss of bone density occurs in all of us.
Peak bone density is normally reached between 25 and 30 years of age and studies have shown that individuals who regularly participated in strenuous physical activities in their teens and twenties developed denser bone mass. Where this was the cases, such individuals maintained denser bone mass until later in live compared to the control group individuals. From about 30 years of age onwards the natural tendency is for bones to start becoming less dense.
Bone is composed of a hard outer shell mesh of collagen (tough elastic fibres) with minerals (such as calcium), blood vessels and bone marrow making up the interior. This mesh is formed by strong interconnected plates, giving it a honey comb type look with open spaces. Healthy bones are very dense with the spaces being small.
Osteoporosis is characterised by these spaces having become much larger. The bone is therefore much less dense and more susceptible to breaks or fracture, even from relatively minor injuries that normally would not cause a bone to fracture. Fractures can be either be cracking (as in a hip fracture) or collapsing (as in a compression fracture of the vertebrae of the spine).
Since bone is a living tissue it is constantly repairing itself – this process is called bone turnover. Osteoporosis occurs when the bones lose minerals, such as calcium, more quickly than the body replace them, leading to a loss of bone density (bone mass or thickness). This could happen for reasons related to lifestyle choices, some medications and even hereditary traits could speed up the loss of bone density.
In all cases calcium is the cornerstone of treatments recommended along with vitamin D to help with the absorption of the calcium. Other treatments include medication that slows further bone loss or attempts to increase bone formation.
Osteoporosis is difficult to reverse and therefore Osteoporosis New Zealand, as well as medical boards and practitioners around the world advocates prevention. If prevention was a 3-legged stool, then good nutrition would be one of these legs. Follow a diet that provides the proper amount of calcium (at least 1200 milligrams per day), vitamin D , and protein. Cheese, Low-fat milk, Salmon, Sardines (with the bones), Yogurt and leafy green vegetables such as spinach are good sources of Calcium. Vitamin D is produced naturally by your skin when exposed to sunlight (careful not to overdose – ie. end up with sunburn) but also found in milk and fatty fish like salmon, tuna etc.
The second leg of the stool would be good lifestyle choices such as not smoking and limiting alcohol consumption while the third leg would be regular high intensity physical activity.
According to the Osteoporosis Australia Medical & Scientific Advisory Committee, the strong muscle contractions required to move a heavy weight places stress or ‘strain’ on the bone that the muscles are attached to. Regularly repeated high intensity training evokes the body’s natural response to the demands being placed on the body.
Your body sees the stress on your bones and muscles as a threat, and responds by reinforcing the bones and muscle to manage this level of activity and protect itself. With this regularly repeated stress your body literally adapts your bones and muscles to be denser, stronger and hence capable of sustaining these demands placed on them. Clinical studies have shown that high intensity training results in denser bone mass as well as increased muscle mass, strength and balance.
Concept 10 10 in Newmarket specialises in high intensity training (HIT). This form of exercise focuses on delivering significant muscle contractions and by doing so has a significantly positive impact on muscle growth as well as bone density.
Furthermore, the training methodology used in Concept 10 10 delivers significant full body results in any individual seeking either better overall fitness or weight loss and also enables back pain suffers to target and strength those hard to get at back muscles.
With private training rooms (no-onlookers) and the full supervision of a personal trainer during each session, Concept 10 10 is not like a gym. The medical grade equipment and 25 years of research by chiropractors, physio’s, strength training and sports professionals means that the Concept 10 10 workout system places no stress on the joints, delivers significant results and provides a full body fitness solution for busy people.