People get lost in counting calories on a daily basis but few if any realize just how simple it is to lose weight and keep the weight off if they made the right choices with their dietary decisions.

For those that are unfamiliar with nutritional science, your bodyweight is comprised of lean body tissue, body fat, water weight and your internal organs.  What you can control from a weight perspective is the amount of muscle and fat within your body and that is done through calorie consumption or calorie expenditure.

As a trainer, one of the first things I get asked is “How Do I Lose Weight?” The answer is quite simple in that you need to burn more calories than you consume. Over enough time, this will cause your body to shed fat and weight.

A calorie is a measure of energy utilized in normal activities. The American Council on Exercise notes that “one pound equals to 3,500 calories”. The Mayo Clinic has also confirmed that “one pound equals 3,500 calories.”

Therefore, there are 3,500 calories in one pound of stored fat. In order to lose weight, you need to create a deficit in calories consumed versus calories exerted of 3,500 in order to lose one pound of fat. To facilitate a weight loss of one pound a week, people need to expend 500 calories more than consumed each day for an entire week.

To put that in perspective, check out the following foods and see how many calories they add to your calorie total on an annual basis. Some of this is downright scary!


1 Blueberry muffin a day = 138,700 calories per year = 40 pounds of stored bodyfat

1 Glazed donut a day = 87,600 calories per year = 25 pounds of stored bodyfat

1 Plain bagel a day = 69,250 calories per year = 20 pounds of stored bodyfat

1 Can of Soda a day = 54,750 calories per year = 15 pounds of stored bodyfat

2 Cans of Soda a day = 109,500 calories per year = 31 pounds of stored bodyfat

1 Small Bag of Lay’s Chips a day = 54,750 calories per year = 15 pounds of stored bodyfat

2 Slices of White Bread a day = 48,180 calories = 14 pounds of stored bodyfat


Next time you think of eating just one cookie, or one piece of candy, think about the damage you are doing to your body on an annual basis. As always, carry and write EVERYTHING in your food journal so you know what it is you are consuming.



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