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Back to Basics: The Reality of Calories


Updated February 15, 2014


Calories In vs. Calories Out

Are you unhappy with your weight? Have you ever looked in the mirror and asked, "How did this happen?"?

Well, the explanation sounds deceptively simple: If we take in more calories than we need on a daily basis, the excess calories turn into extra weight.

Think of food as fuel and your body as a car. Food is the energy our bodies "run" on. Overeating is like over-fueling; any excess fuel you don't "run on" turns into fat. Thus, the cycle of weight gain begins.

Because of this basic principle (calories consumed versus calories spent), the cause of weight loss is just as straightforward as the explanation of weight gain. If you consume fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight.

Believe it or not, this is the basis of every weight loss diet. Whether you follow a low-fat or low-carbohydrate/high protein diet or you reduce portion sizes, these are all varied means to the same end: fewer calories consumed.

Contributing Factors

Keep in mind that there are some of the factors that contribute to obesity that you have little - if any - control over, the chief one being genetics.

Research has shown that heredity may be the cause of up to a 30 percent increase of body weight.

Other uncontrollable influences include weight gain due to side effects from medication, extreme inactivity due to medical problems, and thyroid/metabolic conditions.

The good news is, controlling caloric intake will lead to weight loss despite most contributing factors.


Learn More:

To find out how many calories are in the foods you eat, and learn more about counting calories, visit Calorie Count Plus!

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