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Cutting Calories...How Low Should You Go?

Updated: Jul 22, 2021

What Works? It seems overly simple, but weight control equation really boils down to calories. If you take in more than you use, you will gain weight and body fat. Calories are taken in with food. They are used up through physical activity. The number of calories needed to lose weight varies between individuals. A number of calculators are available to estimate how many calories you need.

A rule of thumb used by many nutrition experts is as follows. Decrease your calories by about 500–1000 per day. This should result in a gradual weight loss of about 1–2 pounds per week.


In some cases, weight gain can be a symptom of a medical condition or disorder . If you suspect your weight is caused by a health problem, see your physician to rule out any problems.

Did you know?

  • A 150-pound woman who walks briskly at a 15-minute mile pace (4 mph) will burn 5 calories per minute. To burn off an average sized doughnut you’d have to walk quickly around the office for 48 minutes. This is just over 3 miles!

  • Most people can cut about 100 calories per day. This equals about 10 pounds of weight loss per year. In terms of food examples:

    • o One less 140 calorie soft drink each day = 14 fewer pounds a year

    • o One less 270 calorie candy bar each day = 27 fewer pounds a year

    • o One less 420 calorie bagel or donut each day = 42 fewer pounds a year

  • Speed up weight loss! Cut back 100 calories from your diet every day PLUS burn up 100 calories daily through activity.

Bottom Line

Choose quality over quantity. Avoid processed food and fast food.
Drink plenty of water at least 8 glasses per day.
Increase intake of lean protein and cut back on sugar and sweets.
The best way to lose weight is to modify your food intake and exercise more. Timing is everything. Skipping meals will just ruin your metabolism. Sweat it out!

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