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