Trying to lose weight? Do some calorie math

It isn’t easy to lose weight. Let’s acknowledge that right up front.

However, the math behind weight loss is not complicated: You have to use more calories than you take in.

You use—or “burn”—calories through physical activity. You take in calories through eating.

It’s not that difficult to figure how many calories you’re eating every day. You can check the calories-per-serving information on a product’s nutrition label. There are also a multitude of “calorie counter” books available.

Calculating how much physical activity you need to lose a certain number of pounds? Not quite so black-and-white. In fact, it can vary greatly from person to person.

Just to maintain your current weight, you probably need to engage in about 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise every week. You’ll likely need to increase that if you want to drop pounds.

We have a couple of calculators that can help you learn more about your calorie and exercise needs:

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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