Neal D. Johnson,M.D.
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Are You Losing or Gaining Weight? Count Your Calories

These days, people are very conscious of what they eat. If you want to keep track of what you’re eating, all you have to do is add up your calorie numbers.

Calorie is a unit for measuring energy. While cars need gasoline to run, we need calories from our food to go about our day. They fuel our body so it can perform its basic functions like the beating of our heart or breathing.

An average person needs from 1,000 to 1,400 calories a day. That’s just enough to sustain the energy requirements of the brain, heart and other organs. An additional 400 to 600 calories is also needed to fuel minimal physical movements.

To lose weight, you’ll have to consume fewer calories. Conversely, if you consume more, you’’’ gain weight. We gain a pound of fat every time we consume an excess of 3,500 calories. To illustrate this, let’s assume that you need about 2,000 calories every day. However, you have been eating close to 2,600 calories each day for six days. If you’d add that up, you’d get an excess of 3,600 calories above your daily 2,000-calorie requirement. This means you have gained a pound of fat as a result of the excess 3,600 calories. To balance this, run, jog, swim or lift weights. Burn the excess calories by sweating them off.


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