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Nutrition Tools


Calorie and Body Weight Basics

Calories Are
  • units of energy you body uses to fuel its functions and activities
  • created from proteins, fats and carbohydrates found in our foods and beverages
  • necessary for basic body functions like keeping the heart, brain and lungs functioning (also know as basal metabolism
  • essential to fuel activity – from the smallest hand gesture to a 5-mile run

The number of calories we need each day depends on how much we weigh, how much muscle mass we have and how active we are.

  • If you consume more calories than your body needs, those extra calories will be stored as fat.
  • If you consume less calories than your body needs, your previously stored calories (fat) will be used to supply additional energy.

A Pound = Approximately 3,500 Calories 

To Lose Weight 

  • By cutting down 500 calories per day, you will cut a total of 3,500 calories per week – resulting in the loss of 1 pound of body fat. But never consume fewer than 1,200 calories per day.* (Refer to Weight Management section for Program.)
  • If you want to lose more than 1 pound a week, you will need to either reduce your calorie intake further,* or increase the amount of calories you burn with exercise.

To Maintain Weight 

  • Balance calories from food and beverages with calories expended.**
If you are a woman:
  • You will need about 12 calories for every pound of body weight (A 150-lb. woman needs about 1,800 calories a day.)
If you are a man:
  • You will need about 14 calories for every pound of body weight. (A 200-pound man needs about 2,800 calories a day.)

*Source: “Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
**Source: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture

en-US | 8/1/2015 6:46:41 AM | NAMP2HLASPX02