Losing Weight 102- Calorie Counting and Weight Loss
Calorie Counting and Weight Loss
In our last episode we talked about the science of losing weight. In order to lose weight you simply have to burn off more calories than you consume in the food that you eat. It is that simple.
We also talked about the fact that the reason that this is so difficult is because most people under estimate the number of calories that they consume, and over estimate the number of calories they are burning off.
Let’s start this installment with some alarming statistics:
~ According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 74.1% of Americans are either overweight or obese
~ Obesity results in 120,000 preventable deaths in the United States each year
~ An obese person is likely to incur $1,497 more in medical expenses annually
~ Obesity results in approximately $190 billion spent in additional medical expenses per year in the United States
Today we will take a look how to avoid under estimating the number of calories that you are consuming. This is often referred to as calorie counting.
There are many books on the market that can help you with this. The one I like is called “Calorie King” by Allan Borushek which is updated annually. One of the reasons I like this book is that it not only tells you the calorie count /fat count and carbohydrate count of all the foods you buy in a grocery store, but it also has a section with that same information for restaurants you may visit. Fast food or full service, it has most of the well known restaurant names we’ve all heard of. It also has many helpful guides on things like Fats & Cholesterol, Fiber, Protein & Iron, high Blood Pressure, Diabetes and many more.
When it comes to calories and how many a person should take in per day it is important to know that “One size does NOT fit all”.
The average female between the ages of 23 and 50 has a maintenance level of 2000 – 2100 calories per day.
The average male has a maintenance level of 2700 – 2900 calories per day.
If you are larger or smaller than what is considered average then you would need to adjust these numbers. Also, your calorie needs decrease as you get older. In addition, the larger you are and the more active you are, the more calories you will need per day.
When we talk about maintenance level we’re talking about the number of calories that you need to consume on a daily basis to maintain your current weight.
Here is a website you can visit to more accurately calculate how many calories you should consume daily based on your own size and level of activity: Calorie Calculator
One option when counting calories in order to lose weight is to set a goal that is 25% to 30% less than your daily maintenance level.
For instance: If the daily maintenance level of an average sized female is 2000 calories per day, and you want to set a goal that is 25% less (or 500 cal), your new goal would be 1500 cal per day.
For an average sized male who’s maintenance level is 2800 cal per day, 25% less than that (or 700 calories) would bring your new daily goal to 2100 cal per day.
In our next installment we will delve more into specific calorie counts of some of the foods we most commonly eat and how that affects our ability to lose weight.
Remember, I am not a dietitian, a nutritionist, or a physician. Please consult your personal physician before you start any new dietary or exercise routine.
Until next time be safe out there and be professional.
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