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Weight-Loss Software > Count Calories

Best Way to Lose Weight? Count Calories!

By Terry Dunkle, DietPower Editor-In-Chief*

Smart dieters have always known that the surest way to lose weight is to count calories. That's because how much you eat affects your weight more than what you eat. And the most accurate way to measure your food intake is to count calories, because a food's calorie content tells exactly how much fat it can add to your body.

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Use This Simple Formula to Count Calories

The math needed to count calories is easy: eat 3500 calories less than your current body needs, and you'll lose a pound. (You don't have to do the math yourself, however. Read on.)

You can forgo those 3500 calories at 500 calories a day for a week, or 125 a day for a month-whatever rate you like. The only question is how fast to lose the weight.

Most experts advise no more than a pound or two per week. If you lose faster, the weight may come back-and then you'll have to count calories again.

Before You Count Calories...

...obviously, you need to know how many calories are right for you. To find out, use DietPower's calorie budget calculator.

Or, if you already know your current eating level and you enjoy math, just multiply the number of pounds you want to lose by 3500, divide the result by the number of days until your target date, and subtract that result from your current eating level.

If you normally eat 2600 calories a day, for example, and want to lose 20 pounds in 100 days, your budget will be 2600 - (20 x 3500) / 100 = 1900 calories per day.

The Easy Way to Count Calories

Once you've determined your weight-loss budget, it's time to count calories.

You can do that by reading food labels and keeping a diary on paper, of course. But it's a lot easier (and more fun) to use your computer.

You'll find many websites that let you count calories online, as well as more powerful programs that you can download and install on your own computer for greater privacy and speed.

To Do More Than Count Calories...

...choose a program that also tracks your intake of other nutrients (fat, carbohydrates, etc.). Many programs award calories for exercise, too. One, called DietPowerŽ, even monitors changes in your metabolism and shows which of your favorite foods is best to eat now.


*Terry Dunkle is a 30-year veteran medical journalist and consumer advocate who serves as CEO and chief editor at DietPower, Inc., a leading maker of nutrition and weight-loss software.

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Copyright © 1992-2016 by DietPower, Inc., 7 Kilian Drive, Danbury, CT 06811. Phone 800-852-8446. All rights reserved. The name DietPower and the apple and runner symbols are trademarks of DietPower, Inc. Information on this site is meant to increase your awareness of the importance of nutrition to health. It is not meant to substitute for the advice of a health professional.

Last modified August 12, 2010

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