Understanding Diet

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Diet is the amount of food consumed by a person or a particular organism [1]. This type of diet is strongly influenced by the individual's background origin or faith of a particular community. Although humans are omnivores, a group of people usually have a preference or avoidance of some foods.

Unlike the mention in some countries, in the Indonesian language, the word diet often intended to refer to an effort to lose weight or manage the intake of certain nutrients. This article will discuss about the diet in the second sense.

In pekembangannya, diet in the context of efforts to regulate the intake of nutrients are divided into several types, namely:
Lose Weight (Mass) for the Agency as a model or actress who wants to maintain the appearance.
Increase the weight (mass) Agency for sports such as bodybuilding or athletes who want to increase muscle mass.
Abstinence Against Certain food such as for diabetics (low-carb and sugar).

a. Factors that influence body mass

There are several factors that affect body mass. These factors were grouped into two, namely internal and external factors. Internal factors include heredity factors such as genes, thermal regulation, and metabolism. External factors include physical activity, and dietary intake.

1. Internal factors

Internal factors responsible for body mass is a factor that can not be consciously controlled by people who go on a diet.

2. Genetic Factors


Research conducted by the Boston University Medical School found that a gene called INSIG2 responsible for obesity. Genes responsible INSIG2 menginhibisi synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. Some of the protein product of the gene variant INSIG2 has a low inhibitory power so that people with this gene variant would be more likely to accumulate fat in the body. Approximately one out of ten people (10%) suspected of carrying this gene variant


Other genes that are responsible for obesity gene FTO. FTO is the name of the gene is located on human chromosome 16. Based on the results of the study [4] of people who had certain variants of FTO and a partner homozygous variant allele in the genome (16.4% of study subjects) had a weight loss of 3 kg heavier than the average person and have a risk of obesity 1 , 5 times greater than ordinary people [5].

Thermal regulation

Humans are warm-blooded creatures that spend energy to maintain body temperature. In addition to the energy needed to maintain body temperature (average 37 ° C), some energy is also required to maintain the activity of vital organs like the heart and lungs. The energy required is derived from the food consumed by a person.

Generally, in a state of sleep, the human need for power of 1 Watt per kg of body weight (human body weighing 65 kg would consume about 65 watts, or roughly equivalent to the power needed to power two light bulbs). With a body weight of 65 kg, the energy consumption needed by the people that every day is about 5,500 kilojoules or 1,400 kilocalories (kcal). The energy needed to just live human beings (in the resting state), without doing any activity was called the Basal Metabolic Rate (Basic metabolite Rate / BMR).

Thermal regulatory mechanisms each person is different and the energy consumption that determines how much nutrients to be burned by the body to produce energy. Thus, the higher the BMR one, the higher the energy consumption and the person requires more food to maintain body activity. Differences in gender, race, height, and also affect the value of BMR. Psychological conditions and air temperature also affected.

Since the total calorie needs for each individual is different and depends on gender, age and even ethnicity. Nutritionists generally use the Harris Benedict Formula to generate a more accurate estimate of the value of one's BMR. Instead of counting itself, as there are many internet sites that has provided a simple program to calculate BMR for example, a program called BMR Calculator.


Metabolism, in a nutshell, is the process of processing (formation and decomposition) substances needed by the body to perform its functions. Fat metabolism is one factor in the diet. One can increase fat burning by increasing muscle mass in the body. As muscle mass increases, the metabolism of food will increase. This process will increase the value of BMR and caloric needs.

External Factors

Based on research conducted on the population of the United States, there are 60.5% of the population aged adults have the condition are overweight (2005 data). Based on these data, some experts believe that eating habits and hold a more dominant factor in influencing a person's weight when dibandngkan internal factors. Two external factors were the dominant physical activity and nutrition. A person can easily lose weight without the need for drugs and such fat burners to increase the activity and reduce food intake into the body.

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