Have you ever felt dizzy when you think about calories? The whole subject seems so daunting. It must be a real science and people surely are spending most of their lives just counting calories..

Well, the good news is, it just seems difficult. In reality after only a week or two you will become an expert in calories. All you have to do is follow our simple instructions.

## So what is a calorie?

A

**calorie**is a unit of energy. Very simple: food gives you energy and energy is measured in calories.1. One gram of Carbohydrate is 4 calories;

2. One gram of Protein is 4 calories;

3. One gram of Fat is 9 calories;

## Now that we know what a calorie is, let's start counting!

There are many resources on the web, which make counting calories a much easier job. Here, for example, is UK food database, which has many products listed http://www.food-database.co.uk with their nutritional values. Most products now have caloric values on the label. Make sure you really read the label as some of them have traps of showing calorie values as "per serving".## Here's how we count calories:

Let's say I like pasta. The portion size is 60 grams. Calories per 100 grams = 346. So my calorie intake if I have a 60 gram portion will be: 346 divide by 100 and multiply by 60 = 207 (346/100*60)If for example I have prawn crackers. The calorie value is 215 calories per portion. The portion is 40 grams. If I have a packet of crackers with 100 grams in it, my intake will be: 100/40 - here we find how many portions are in the packet. Now we multiply number of portions by calories per portion: 2.5*215 = 537.5 calories.

Once you get the idea, it's really easy! It takes very little time and helps you to manage your eating.

## Keeping Weight Management Diary

Just counting your calories is not enough. You need to keep a record of it. There are various types of Weight Management Diaries. Paper Diaries, Online Diaries and phone apps. Choose the one that is easiest for you to use.Make sure you write down everything that you eat or drink! You must write EVERYTHING every day.

This is how you keep track of your progress. More importantly, you have to stick to your daily calorie allowance and resist the temptation to cheat.

Keeping a diet journal motivates you and the progress is much faster as it keeps you from cheating.

For the first few weeks you will have to do a lot of counting and writing, but you will notice that foods repeat and it get's easier by the day.

## How does all this help me to lose weight?

Now, this is a very good question! You lose weight when you consume fewer calories than you use. So the math is very simple: if you eat 2000 calories per day and use 1500, you will GAIN weight. If you eat 1700 and use 1700, you will MAINTAIN your weight. If you eat 1400 and use 1700, you will lose weight. Counting your calories is really important!## How many calories do I need per day?

Here, we need to do some more calculations. Very easy again! There is a special formula, which calculates your Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR). It tells you how much energy (calories) your body needs to function routinely.

The formula takes many facts into consideration: your age, sex, height, weight and physical activity.

**BMR for Women:**

655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)

Here's an example:

You are a woman, aged 40, 66 inches tall and weigh 160 pounds, your BMR will be calculated like this:

655 + (4.35 x 160) + (4.7 x 66) – (4.7 x 40)

655 + 696 + 310 – 188

Your BMR is

**1473**

Now we need to include your activity into our calculations:

**Choose your normal activity level:**

- Sedentary = BMR x 1.2
- Lightly Active = BMR x 1.4
- Moderately Active = BMR x 1.6
- Very Active = BMR x 1.7
- Athletic = BMR x 1.9

Let's say you are moderately active, then to function your body needs:

**1473 x 1.6 = 2357 calories**

**BMR Formula for Men:**

66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.97 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)

Here's an example:

You are a man, aged 40, 70 inches tall and weigh 190 pounds, your BMR will be calculated like this:

66 + (6.3 x 190) + (12.97 x 70) – (6.8 x 40)

66 + 1197 + 907.9 – 272

Your BMR is

**1899**

Now we need to include your activity into our calculations:

**Choose your normal activity level:**

- Sedentary = BMR x 1.2
- Lightly Active = BMR x 1.4
- Moderately Active = BMR x 1.6
- Very Active = BMR x 1.7
- Athletic = BMR x 1.9

**1899 x 1.6 = 3038 calories**

## Now you need to decide how much weight you want to lose and how fast

Here's one fact you need to know: burn 3,500 Calories more than you consume and you will lose 1 pound of fat or

**total caloric deficit of 3,500 calories results in a 1 pound weight loss**.

**If you burn 500 calories more than you consume a day through exercise or consume 500 Calories less than your daily caloric requirement, you will lose 1 pound of weight a week i.e 500 X 7 = 3,500**

Knowing all these figures will help you to manage your calories effectively and reach your target weight.