Friday, January 15, 2010

Calories in, calories out

(as heard on Calvary 88.5 FM 1/15/10)

Weight management (weight loss, gain and maintenance) is all about calories in/calories out. You burn a specific amount of calories each day depending on your activity level, weight, age, and gender. If you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight, if you eat less, you will lose weight, if you eat the same amount of calories that you burn, you will maintain your current weight. It’s a simple idea, but people struggle with weight gain or lack of weight loss.

To lose weight, you must first figure out how many calories you burn in a typical day. There are a few different equations to help you figure out your calorie burn, but the easiest way to find out is to go to a great little calculator provided by the Mayo Clinic. Click here to find your current daily calorie burn.

One pound equals 3,500 calories. Therefore, to lose weight at the rate of one pound per week, you need to create a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day. For two pounds a week (which is the upper limit of healthy weight loss), you need to create a deficit of 1,000 calories per day. For example, I require about 2,000 calories per day to maintain my weight (per my age, weight, activity level and gender). If I want to lose one pound per week, I would need to limit my daily food intake to 1,500 calories. It’s important to note that women should not eat less than 1,200 calories per day and men less than 1,500 calories per day.

Sounds hard right? How are you going to figure out how many calories your food has in it? There are a great deal of very helpful websites that can help you out. My personal favorite is, but is fantastic as well and they are both free. You just search for the food you are looking for and it gives you the entire nutritional content. Plus, both of these sites keep track of your calories for you if you sign up for a free account.

Happy calorie counting!

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