Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Make Your Calories Count

At some time in each of our lives, most of us want, or need, to lose some weight. Whether it’s dropping those last ten pounds that have been driving you nuts, or, like tens of millions overweight Americans, you need to drop a whole bunch. 20 pounds? 40? Over 50? Guess what? Do I have some great news for you!

If you can count, you can lose weight. Now, I know you’ve all probably heard a lot of this before—count calories, watch portion sizes, eat less, exercise more—but not all weight reduction programs are created equal. Still overweight? Still need some help? Read on…


That’s the magic number of calories that makes up one pound of weight loss.


Okay, I understand, no one said there was going to be math, right?

Let’s say you eat 2000 calories each day (which, depending on your body size, gender, or age, is a nice, average number to go by). Now multiply that by 7 days, and the result is that you will consume 14,000 calories per week. Here’s where that magic number—3500—comes into play.

If your goal is to lose one pound a week, you will need to burn 3500 calories more than you ingest, per week. Using the above example: if you consume 14,000 calories, you would need to burn 17,500 to lose one pound in a week. Now, take those 17,500 calories and divide by 7 (days). That’s 2500. That’s how many calories you would need to burn, on average, per day, to lose one pound.

Wow, sounds like a lot of math, and hard work.

Actually, it’s a lot easier than you could imagine.

Using this formula, and eating a high-fiber, low-fat diet, I lost over 40 pounds in only six months. And I have been able to keep all of the weight off for over two years. And here’s the best news—burning calories is not that difficult. We burn them while asleep! You are burning some right now just reading this post. I burned a bunch writing it!

One of the best ways to burn more calories, though, is to become more active. You don’t have to go crazy and start training for an Iron Man competition, you just need to get up and get going. Start a walking program, work in the yard landscaping or gardening, use the stairs instead of the elevator, clean the house (yup, burns lots of calories). Even going grocery shopping will burn a bunch. Here is a great tool that will help you keep track of all the calories you burn. The good news—burning 2500-3000 calories (or more!) per day is not that difficult to do. The challenge for most of us is consuming fewer calories. That’s why I titled this post: Make Your Calories Count.

If you are to limit caloric consumption (eat less), then you need to make sure everything you put in your mouth has value and nutritional purpose. This means—no empty calories. An empty calorie is something (a bag of chips, slice of cake, most fast foods) that fills your stomach, but gives little in return—no nutrition, few vitamins or minerals. They may even be high in saturated fats, sodium, and sugar. No value—so, don’t eat them.

Here’s the important thing to understand—if you seriously want to lose weight and decide to limit your caloric intake, you need to ensure that every calorie you consume has a purpose. Why? Because you only have so many in each day/week, to waste any could lead to your weight loss downfall. An example: one trip through that drive-thru window at your favorite (not anymore, I hope) burger joint could blow your calorie count for the entire day. A double cheeseburger, large fry, and soda or shake, depending on which grease house you are visiting, have anywhere from 1000-2000 calories. And watch their salads; most are high in sodium and calories. My advice: Don’t go there!

I talk in greater detail about all of this information at my video website,

If you are serious about dropping those last ten pounds or ready to take that first step toward losing fifty, or more, count your calories (magic number: 3500), and make your calories count.

Here are a few more tips that have helped me:

• Eat small mini-meals throughout the day, every 2-3 hours. Toss out the traditional thinking that you need to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

• Chew gum in between meals. You’d be amazed at how effective this it.

• Eat lots of fiber and less animal protein. Fiber curbs your appetite, digests slowly, helps with regularity, and is good for you.

• Stop eating before you feel full. It can take ten minutes or more before the brain realizes that the stomach is full. We all too often continue to eat way longer than we need to.

• Keep a journal. Jot down everything you eat each day—and I mean everything! This includes “tastes” while cooking and “nibbles” from your kid’s or spouses’ plates. And don’t forget liquids; they count too. This is an excellent way to monitor what is working or not in your diet. I still have my journals!

• Walk. Walking is the easiest, least expensive exercise there is. Here is an informative walking video to get you started.

Remember—3500 calories equals one pound. Burn more than 3500 calories than you ingest and you will lose a pound of weight. Do this every week and, before you know it, you will be well on your way to a healthier, happier, better life. I hope these tips help. And, as always, you can find more healthy information, as well as personal development, how-to, and entertainment videos at my video site,




ChaCha Fance said...

Very nice tips! I have been counting calories for awhile now & yes it is very effective.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE this article! It is so well written and so on target! You also give great motivation to those who wish to lose weight!

I found your article on Digg and I'm so glad that I did. I would love to do a link exchange on our blogrolls. I'm going to put you up now and I hope you'll do the same for my two sites! GREAT BLOG!

Have you ever written anything on weight gain?

Dr. KC

Anonymous said...

I also dugg and stumbled your article as well!

Doc KC

Anonymous said...

I have had a psychological struggle with weight loss my whole life. I could count calories for a few days, and then I would just go nuts.

What really helped (and is currently helping) me, is that I began researching my food. I would wiki the ingredients on package labels, and by the time I figured out their origin, I couldn't bring myself to eat it anymore. I also picked one fruit or vegetable a day to research all of the health benefits. I began thinking of my food as a medicine. And now, if I have the choice between some junk and something good, I pick the good thing because I think of how it will help my body.

Anonymous said...

I recently was able to buy an awesome old school sears 10 speed and that has been the best 30 bucks I ever spent.At 42 you start to feel the differences and keeping the weight off is critical to avoiding many life threatening illnesses.Great article and nice meeting you thanks for the digg earlier.I'll be seeing you around thanks;)
I whipped a few stumbles on you for good measure;)

Anonymous said...

Nice post and nice blog :)

Anonymous said...

This is a very well written article and SO right on, as doc kc stated in his comment. I have been studying personal training and nutrition, in attempts to help my best friend lose weight. I'm passing this article to her.

(I need to gain 15 lbs. I'm thinking if I reverse your formula I might be able to accomplish it, which, so far a year later, I haven't been able to do. Catch22: I can't possibly eat that much in one day, or at least not things that are healthy, lol.)

Awesome post :)

Jena Isle said...

That's a lot of calories to lose. I guess I just have to limit my cake and ice cream intake---hu, hu, hu...

Thanks for this informative post.

Anonymous said...

I am seeing the importance of losing weight and exercise if you want a complete healthy living.

Cheryl said...

OH, do I feel guilty now after having shoved half a pizza down! But hey, I haven't eaten much else all day!

Anonymous said...

awesome, awesome article!! It is so important to know the caloric content of the food we eat--it really helps in making better choices in what we eat. thanks for sharing.

GraficWorld said...

Hi my Friend..Good day and good week!!!

Anonymous said...

I loved reading your article. It's very informative and easy to understand. Congratulations on losing 40 pounds and more importantly, keeping it off for two years. That's awesome!

Anonymous said...

very nice blog.... keep it up! amazing...

Anonymous said...

great tips. i started my food journal again this morning. i wasn't aware of the magic number 3500. thank you for posting.

Anonymous said...

In the era of the 64-oz. soda, the 1,200-calorie burger, food companies now produce enough each day for every American to consume 3,800 calories per day as compared to the 2,350 needed for survival. Not only adults but kids are also consuming far more calories than they can possibly use.

Anonymous said...

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Trisha said...

awesome, awesome article!! It is so important to know the caloric content of the food we eat--it really helps in making better choices in what we eat. thanks for sharing.

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