Want to lose weight using facts instead of gimmicks? Learning how to count calories is one of the most effective weight loss strategies out there. While you will find “experts” touting their weight loss “secret” and some people claiming they’ve lost weight by swallowing a magic pill or avoiding certain “forbidden” foods, is this information accurate or scientifically sound? It sure isn’t.

Are you ready to lose weight, keep it off, and do so with science on your side? Let’s go!

What Is A Calorie?

The term calorie refers to the measurement of stored energy. Foods use calorie counts to inform you of how much potential energy the food has. Each food is different in the amount of energy it contains. For example, a tablespoon of peanut butter contains about 94 calories, while a tablespoon of jelly contains roughly 50 calories. The peanut butter is more energy dense than the jelly. This is a verifiable scientific fact that is measurable.

What Does My Body Do With Calories?

Have you ever wondered what your body does with the food you eat? Sure, it stores it, but there is more to the story. Your body requires energy to perform the many important functions it performs. The cells that make up your body are constantly working to keep you alive. In order do properly do their job, they need energy and they get this from the foods that you eat.

Another way your body uses the energy from the food you eat (calories) is through physical activity. Since you don’t move the same amount of every day, the calories required to fuel your activities changes each day.

In order to determine the amount of calories your body needs to perform its duties and keep you moving. You can calculate your TDEE or total daily energy expenditure. This is the amount of calories your body burns in one 24-hour period.

What Happens When The Energy Runs Out?

Let’s say your body has used all the calories you have eaten, now what? To continue running, your body uses energy stores and here’s where the weight loss come in. The body breaks down the muscle and fat, turns it into molecules, and the cells use them for energy.

The body is an amazing machine that stores and burns fat on a constant basis. When you eat a meal, your body uses some of the energy and stores the rest. Once it has used up the calories you’ve consumed, it “borrows” energy from stored fat. The cycle is non-stop.

How Do I Lose Weight?

In order to reduce your weight, your body needs to constantly burn more calories than you take in. You are in control of this by choosing how many calories you put into your body. There are no strict diets, forbidden foods, or other schemes when it comes to losing weight.

Ready To Learn How To Count Calories For Weight Loss?

One of the first things you need to do is determine your TDEE. How many calories does your body need to maintain the weight you are now based on your physical activity? You can find many helpful calculators online that will give you this information.

Next, determine how many calories you need to take in each day to help you lose weight. Each pound is 3,500 calories. For instance, if you want to lose one pound per week, you would need to cut 3,500 calories out of your diet for the week. Breaking it down, this is just 500 calories per day. One pound a week is a healthy goal to work towards.

When you know how many calories you should consume each day for weight loss, you are ready to start your journey. Each calorie you eat counts, even small bites here and there. Many find it helpful to write down or use smart phone apps to track the calories they eat and drink every day. It is important to find what works for you, and use it honestly.

There is no mystery to learning how to count calories. The scientifically sound strategy can help you reach your goals as you lose weight and keep it off.

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