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The Little Book of Calorie Burning

The Little Book of Calorie Burning

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The Little Book of Calorie Burning

152 pagine
1 ora
Sep 4, 2008


A quirky guide to counting the calories as they come off, through ways you may never have considered possible

Exactly how long would you have to kiss in order to burn off a bottle of beer? Or how long would you have to argue with someone to burn off a Mars bar?

From playing ping-pong to having sex (at different levels of intensity!), this little guide contains over 100 activities and their calorie-burning powers. For instance, have you ever thought about the calories you burn simply by eating and digesting?

Activities are arranged A-Z and show the calories burned for four different weights (yes, sadly the heavier you are, the more calories you’ll burn even when asleep). Each entry also gives an example food, telling you how long you must do that activity to burn it off.

Sep 4, 2008

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The Little Book of Calorie Burning - Collins



How can you boost your metabolism so that you burn more calories through everyday activities? What weight should you be, and what’s the easiest way to achieve it? Does your chocolate addiction need to stop you getting into your size eight skinny jeans? Read on to find out the sneaky secrets of successful calorie burning…

Here it is at last – the ultimate, the Holy Grail of weight-loss plans, a revolutionary new regime that genuinely allows you to eat whatever you like. No more saying ‘No’ to Ben & Jerry’s or burgers or even booze. All you need do is count the calories you consume and make sure you burn them off again before they manage to settle implacably on your hips and thighs. Simple as that!


A calorie is just a unit of energy. Compare it, say, to a lump of coal. You put the right amount of coal in a fire and it burns attractively producing just enough heat to keep your room warm; pile too much coal onto your fire, however, and it bulges messily out of the grate – just like those wobbly muffin bellies you see spilling out between skinny jeans and little crop tops. If, on the other hand, you stoke the fire and make it burn more fiercely it will then be able to consume the extra coal you have put on it. This book will show you how you can stoke your body to make it burn more calories, without adding any curves of the unsexy kind.

It’s not all treadmills and rowing machines and sweaty Lycra. There’s no need even to set foot in a gym if that’s not your thing. In actual fact, everything we do, from talking on the phone to applying mascara, burns calories; the exact quantity will depend on how strenuously we do the activity in question and what our body weight is to start off with.

Get this: one of the startling aspects of calorie burning is that it favours the generously proportioned. During a half hour’s cycling, those who weigh 12 stone will burn at least 90 calories (kcal) more than their skinny 9-stone sisters – the equivalent of two chocolate chip cookies or a scoop of Cherry Garcia.

Even when lying on the sofa reading Hello! magazine for half an hour, the curvy 12-stoner burns 10 more calories than the 9-stone twiglet. Bizarre, isn’t it?

In these pages you will learn how to decide your ideal weight – the one at which you look and feel best – then how to work out the activity level required to achieve it so that you can eat the foods you want while maintaining that perfect weight. Pick the activities you like best and set your own priorities. If you prefer knitting to sex, so be it – you’ll just have to cut back on the cocktails (no pun intended!). It’s safe, scientific and totally sensible.

Let’s start with a little self-analysis to see what your body needs right now.


You may think that you need to go on a diet if you can pinch more than an inch at the waistline, or if you have wobbly chicken wings under your arms – but what you really need is to tone the muscles in those areas without shedding any kilos. The scale doctors use to decide whether your weight is a healthy one or not is called the ‘body mass index’ or BMI – and no, it’s not a brand new kind of performance bike.

To work out your own BMI, you will need: a tape measure, some accurate scales and a calculator. Here’s what to do:

Measure your height in metres (for example, 1.64 or 1.70). Don’t guess – it might have changed since the last time you checked it.

Use the calculator to multiply your height by itself, e.g. 1.64 × 1.64 = 2.69.

Get on the scales, naked, first thing in the morning, and measure your weight in kilograms.

Divide your weight in kilograms by the number you arrived at in 2, above. For example, 63 (kg) ÷ 2.69 = 23.4.

The resulting figure is your BMI. Now consult the list below to see what it means.

If your BMI is less than 15, you are so underweight that you are seriously damaging your health. There’s no point struggling to reach a size zero if you die of malnutrition in the process. Consult a doctor about the healthiest way to start putting on weight, and ask for advice on finding a sensible exercise routine that will not put too much strain on your body.

If your BMI is between 15 and 18.9, you are classed as underweight. Make sure you eat a good breakfast and two further nutritious meals every day, including plenty of protein, veggies and fibre, if you want to avoid illnesses like osteoporosis (where your bones break easily), alopecia (where your hair falls out) or Crohn’s disease (chronic inflammation of the intestine).

BMI between 19 and 24.9? Congratulations! Top of the class! You are in the perfect weight range for your height and don’t need to gain or lose kilos, although you may have some areas that you consider ‘problematic’. Concentrate on a regular form of exercise that targets your flabbier bits rather than trying to firm them through dieting – it’s much more effective and the results last longer as well.

If your BMI is between 25 and 29.9, this is a bit too high and you need to take action to stop it creeping any higher. You’d be well advised to cut out fatty, sugary foods, cut right back on the booze and start getting an hour’s exercise a day. This can include walking to work, dancing, sex, or anything you like doing that involves moving in an energetic fashion. See pages 46–144 for inspiration.

If your BMI is over 30, you are what is known medically as ‘obese’ and you are putting a real strain on your heart, your joints and virtually every other body system. Contact your doctor for advice on how to lose weight intelligently and don’t even think about those silly fad diets where you only eat grapefruit or pineapple or cabbage soup. You need to get an hour’s exercise a day but this should be supervised by a trainer at least to start with to ensure that what you are doing is safe and sensible.

Your ideal weight will fall within the 19–24.9 BMI category; it should be one at which you feel healthy and which you can maintain by eating three nutritious meals (i.e. not all pizza and crisps) and taking at least 30 minutes’ exercise daily. Sure, you might be able to get down to the legendary ‘size zero’ if you live on lettuce leaves and exercise vigorously for most of your waking hours, but you will be fighting an ongoing battle with your biology – and biology always wins in the end.


Each of us has a Resting Metabolic Rate, or RMR – you might know it as your ‘metabolism’. It is the rate at which your body burns calories when you are doing absolutely nothing. As you’ve probably noticed, there are people who can pig out on a Chinese takeaway followed by a family-size bar of Dairy Milk yet remain thin as a rake. They are lucky in that their RMR is high, giving them an unfair advantage.

Your basic RMR is largely governed by genetics, as is your body shape. If you have short, porky parents, you’ll probably have to work harder at keeping your weight under control than those whose parents are tall and slender. However, there are ways you can boost your own RMR, as well as ways in which you can totally screw it up.

So what’s the worst thing you can do for your RMR? Any guesses? Yes, dieting – especially crash dieting. When you cut back drastically on the amount you’re eating, your body thinks it is starving and slows down your metabolism in order to guard your fat reserves. It actually starts storing more calories as fat than it was doing before, because it’s not sure when it’s going to get its next square meal. Once you stop dieting, your metabolism stays at this lower rate for a while, meaning that any new weight is stored as fat. It’s common

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