I keep hearing that the only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you take in. That doesn't make sense to me. Let's say somebody is really trying to lose weight, and they normally consume 2,000 calories a day. They now try for 1,000-1,500 a day. They also exercise for 30 minutes a day, which is reccommended.
Let's say they run 3 miles in 30 minutes. One mile burns off 100 calories.
So, they burn 300 calories a day, and take in 1,500 calories a day. How in the world can they lose any weight? They are taking in 1,200 more calories than they are burning, even with running 3 miles. Am I making sense? They are cutting their calorie intake down, and exercising extreme amounts a day, yet how can they burn more than they take in with a 1,200 calorie difference?
Everything in our body uses calories, like our heart, lungs, brain, etc. It's called a basal metabolic rate (BMR) or resting metabolic rate (RMR). That's the calories your body uses while you're at rest, before you even factor in exercise. You can look up the formula or use an online BMR calculator to figure what yours is.
A person does not burn off calories through exercise alone. We use our energy through the mere state of being. We're burning off calories while we're typing on the computer, sitting and watching tv and even eating and sleeping. Anything that requires movement burns off calories. Exercising just helps us to burn off more calories and to keep our metabolisms up. The way to calculate how many calories you burn off in a day is to determine your BMR, which is the energy expanded when a person is at rest. There are many online calculators that give a rough estimate based on the persons height, weight and age. After determining your bmr you can then add the extra calories you burn off of exercising.
For example, a person has a bmr of 1400 and exercises 30mins a day (300cals) that person is then burning off 1700 calories a day and by cutting calories to 1200, the person then has burned off an extra 500 calories and therefore is able to lose weight.
Yeah, basically just what everyone else said. Your body burns calories doing normal everyday activities. When you want to lose weight, you cut your calories, add exercise, and you will burn what you normally burn plus what you burn doing the actual exercise.
"Never give up, never surrender!"
Always remember, only 15-20% of your calories burned is from exersise. 70% of the calories burned are from your BMR and RMR. And that is coming from a mix of muscle mass and the various organs in the body. This is why trainers and other recommend weight training becasue the more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your resting metabloic rate is through the day. BMR various from person to person and specific diets can manipulate this due to the Thermal effect of food and regulation of eating patterns. Not to say cardio isn't important too, just something to keep in mind.