Fat Facts

28 Sep
  • Fat is metabolically inactive with one kilo burning about 22 KJ/day. In contrast one kilo of muscle burns about 340 KJ/day.
  • Dietary fat contains more calories than either carbohydrates or protein. One gram of fat contains approx 38 KJ, 1g of protein approx 17 KJ, 1g of carbs approx 17 KJ.
  • We are genetically programmed to crave fatty foods. Our current human form (or the way we process nutrients) has evolved over millions of years, adapting to a hunter gatherer lifestyle. This meant at times food could be very scarce so the ingestion of the most calorie dense foods (ie fats and sugars) would mean the individual would survive longer. That is why foods such as chocolate taste so good.
  • Most of the kilojoules we eat (about 70%) are used to provide the energy necessary to main tain our body functions and provide body heat (thermogenesis). The more muscle mass we have the more KJ we burn doing nothing! That is why it is important to include weight training in a fat loss program, not so much to build muscle but to stop the muscle loss that can occur with any kilojoule restriction.
  • We burn more KJ when we are cold because of the need for extra thermogenesis.
  • 40% of Australians are classified as overweight. If these men and women were to reduce their KJ consumption by 600 KJ/day to achieve a “normal” bodyfat fat level the energy saved in one year could fuel at least 60,000 average sized cars.
  • Intense workouts (ie higher consistent Heart Rates) will burn more KJ and elevate the metabolism for hours after, which eventually is better for fat loss. The key to fat loss is simple – if energy input (KJ consumed) is less than energy output (calories burnt) then fat loss will occur.
  • Studies show that fat gain is directly correlated to lack of activity.
  • Fat cell numbers in adults do not increase or decrease, rather the cells become bigger when we get fatter and smaller when we get leaner.
  • Extra bodyweight will increase the strain on the hips knees and ankles. When walking both feet contact the ground at the same time, however, when running and jumping the speed of movement and the fact that the entire bodyweight is focused on one leg can increase the forces on the joints by large amounts. This can cause extra wear and tear and lead to arthritis later in life.