For Weight Loss, Calories Are King

Why are calories king? If you pull away the trappings of any effective weight-loss program, you’ll find all that’s left in the end is calorie balancing. Whether you're eating less, exercising more, cutting carbs or limiting fat, calories are the bottom line. It’s a simple truth that how much you put into your body determines how much your body weighs.

If you pour water into a glass, it gets heavier - and it doesn’t get any lighter until the water is used. It’s the same with your body. If you eat more calories than your body can use - whether from fat, or protein, or carbs, from hamburgers, or chocolate, or soda, or apples - you gain weight. And the reverse is also true. If you eat fewer calories than your body uses, you lose weight. (Although if you eat too few calories your metabolism may slow down and therefore stop you losing weight. For this reason, total calories should never be below 1200 per day for women, or 1500 per day for men, except under medical supervision.)

Effective weight loss is about balancing calories-in with calories-out. For most people, this means figuring out how many calories they need per day to maintain their current weight, and then eating less and exercising more to reduce that calorie intake by 500.

If you are a CalorieKing member, to lose weight at a safe and sensible rate you just need to reach your Calorie Target each day. That's because your Calorie Target is set at 500 calories less than it takes to maintain your current weight. By reaching your Calorie Target each day you should expect to see a loss of between one and two pounds per week. If this is not happening, you may need to lower your Calorie Target slightly.