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What is Your Weight Loss Goal?
By Rebecca Mohning   View more articles by this author
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August 14

 When deciding on a healthy weight you should consider the calories needed to maintain your goal weight. It is also important to understand how the process of weight loss works so your expectations are realistic. The rate of weight loss depends on a person’s calorie needs, and it is strictly a numbers game when it comes to weight loss. To understand how to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, you need to start with the calorie basics.

Calories are units of energy. In the world of nutrition and health, calories refer to the amount of energy in food and the amount of energy the body uses. The body requires energy all day long to function. The amount of energy a person uses throughout the day varies from person to person.
So, how many calories do you need? It depends; even your own energy needs change at different ages and stages of life. Your age, body size, physical condition and activity level all contribute to how much energy you need.  An easy way to gage your calories is to multiply your weight in pounds by 10. For example, a sedentary person weighing 200 pounds would need 2000 calories to maintain his/her weight. If you exercise you can add the daily calorie burn to this total (see chart below for calorie burn estimates). You can also try online tracking resources to find out the calories you burn for various activities as well as track your calorie intake.
In order to lose weight you need to eat less calories than your maintenance number. There are 3500 calories in a pound of fat so in order to lose a pound a week you will need to subtract 500 calories per day from your maintenance calorie total. If that calorie number is too low to manage then only subtract 250 calories per day and go with a slower weight loss goal of a half pound per week.
The American Dietetic Association’s Complete Food and Nutrition Guide provides great calorie-burning activities and the amount of calories they burn per hour:


Calories for
120-pound person
Calories for
170-pound person
Bicycling (<10 mph)
Horseback riding
Mowing lawn
Running (10 mph)
Swimming, leisure
Walking briskly
Weight training


Remember to budget your calories so if you consume more calories one day, try to make up for it by adding some additional exercise. Over time, if you save up calories, you are able to have that once-in-a-while splurge and not feel like you’ve blown your calorie budget. Once you hit your weight goal do the math again to be sure you are taking in the appropriate amount of calories to maintain your weight and be sure to account for any calories being burned from exercise. Best wishes in reaching your weight loss goals!
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Comment by ncreighton
13 Jul 2015 07:46 PM
Very interesting article with some well-written facts. It's a fact that many people do not know the right or healthiest way to lose weight. When attempting to lose weight most people want to lose it "fast". The thing is losing weight fast is harmful to your body. Start eating healthy and take a look it 2015's Best Weight Loss supplements here: http://thehealthywom an.net/weightloss
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