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Calories Still Carry Weight When Dieting

By April 20, 2008

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There are a lot of diet plans out there. Some recommend low-fat eating, some say that eating low carb/high protein is the way to go. Other diets say you should eat the "right" carbs and proteins in the "right" combinations. There are diets that concentrate on only eating certain foods at certain times, and diets that bring the food to you so you don't have to think at all.

The one diet concept that seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle sometimes, is the lowly calorie. In the days before designer diets, people counted calories. If they wanted to reduce their weight, they ate less calories or exercised more to burn off some of those extra calories.

The principles of the current diet plans are better than the old diets of the sixties and seventies, because newer science tells us to concentrate on lean proteins, whole grains and increased vegetables and fruits. And that's a good thing.

But we can't forget that calories count too. Just because something says low-fat does not mean that it is low calorie. And just because a diet calls for bacon, eggs, and butter, hold the toast, doesn't mean that we can ignore the whopping calorie count that a diet of exclusively protein and fat can rack up, if we're not careful.

A pound equals 3,500 calories. If we eat 3,500 more calories than our body needs to function, we will gain a pound. If we reduce our intake by 3,500 through calorie reduction and exercise, we will lose a pound. Using this formula, reducing our calorie intake by 500 calories a day will help us lose a pound a week, no matter what diet plan we follow.

Portion size plays a role in keeping track of calories and so does exercise. Calories are burned off by exercise, giving us another good way to control them.

So, whatever the diet plan, it's best to be aware that total daily calories still play an important part in weight loss.

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Photo courtesy Allison Michael Orenstein/Getty Images
Comments
April 21, 2008 at 6:20 pm
(1) Paula says:

Bravo! Great article! Calories DO matter! We agree. Check out Not another fad diet…just fresh, healthy balanced meals delivered to your door. Our Type II diabetics do great!

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