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The Truth About Calories

How can this be? I'm exercising and the scale isn't moving. What do I need to do to get the scale moving in the right direction? Why does the scale move so easily in one direction, but not in the other?

Here goes...all of these questions have to do with the c-word. If you have asked yourself these questions, the problem may be that you don't understand how calories work. It's such a scary word for some people that Weight Watchers decided to construct a whole weight loss program deleting the word from it's vocabulary and using a friendlier word--points. However, calories are a relatively easy concept to understand. 

What are calories? 
If you understand that a pound is a unit of measurement for solids and a gallon is a unit of measurement for liquids, then you can understand that calories are a unit of measurement for energy. Calories tell you how much energy food or a liquid contain. 

How do calories work?
All foods (and liquids) have calories in them, even fruits and vegetables. The only calorie-free food is water. The basic rule of thumb is that whatever weight you want to maintain, you should multiply that number by 10 and eat that amount in calories. For example, if you weigh 170 pounds, that means that you are taking in about 1,700 calories per day. 

170 (current weight) x 10 = 1,700 calories consumed

How many calories do I need to maintain a specific weight?
If you wanted to maintain your weight of 170 pounds, then all you have to do is eat about 1,700 calories per day. It's that simple.

How many calories do I need to lose weight?
Now that you understand how to maintain your weight, in order to lose weight you must take in less than the calories that are maintaining your current weight. If you weighed 170 pounds and you would like to lose 20 pounds, then you have to take in less than 1,700 calories per day.

How do I know many calories I need to take it to reach my goal weight?
Just use the same formula that you used to figure out how you could maintain your weight. If you want to lose 20 pounds, you would multiply your goal weight by 10 and that number is the number of calories that you should take in daily. 

150 (goal weight) x 10 = 1,500 calories per day

How many calories do I need to gain weight?
If you wanted to gain 10 pounds, then you would multiply your goal weight by 10 and that number of the number of calories that you should take in daily.

180 (goal weight) x 10 = 1,800 calories per day

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