Burn More Calories Than You Take In

Dieting with a Health Chat App – A Experience That Could Be Lifechanging
Lark Team

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Session Focus

Losing weight can help you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

This session we will talk about:

  • The link between calories and weight
  • How to track the calories you take in
  • How to track the calories you burn
  • How to burn more calories than you take in

You will also make a new action plan!

To find out how many calories you burn, you need to know:

  • How much you weigh
  • Your activity
  • How long you do it
  • Your pace

Paul’s Story

Paul is 47 years old and weighs 240 pounds. He’s at risk for type 2 diabetes. His doctor urges him to lose 40 pounds at a rate of 1 pound a week.

Losing 1 to 2 pounds a week is a healthy goal for most adults, experts say. This gradual weight loss is the way to make lasting changes.

To lose 1 pound a week, Paul needs to burn 3,500 more calories than he takes in each week. That’s 500 calories per day.

What are some ways that Paul could burn 500 more calories than he takes in each day?

  1. He could take in 500 fewer calories per day by changing his eating habits.
  2. He could burn 500 more calories per day by being more active.
  3. Or he could cut 500 calories per day through a mixture of eating and activity.

Paul needs about 2,200 calories a day just to stay at the same weight. If he cuts 500 calories per day, that leaves him with 1,700 calories.

That may not sound like a lot of calories to work with. But keep in mind: Paul can reach that goal through a mixture of eating and activity.

What are daily calorie needs?

Paul’s Story

Paul’s goal

Let’s see how Paul does on Sunday.

  • First, he eats a 400-calorie breakfast.
  • Then, he takes a brisk walk and burns 90 calories.
  • Later, he has a 200-calorie mid-morning snack.
  • He has a 500-calorie lunch.
  • Later, he has a 100-calorie afternoon snack.
  • Then, he mows the lawn and burns 100 calories.
  • He has a 600-calorie dinner.
  • Then, he takes a longer brisk walk and burns
  • 120 calories.
  • Later, he has a 200-calorie bedtime snack.

To figure out Paul’s actual calories, we’ll start with the calories he takes in. Then we’ll subtract the calories he burns:

2,000 – 310 = 1,690

Paul beats his goal by 10 calories!

These days, Paul is losing about 1 pound each week through a mixture of eating and activity. And he’s halfway to his goal weight.

Ways to Eat Fewer Calories

Here are some ways to cut calories at each meal. Try these healthy swaps.

Ways to Eat Fewer Calories1
Ways to Eat Fewer Calories2
Ways to Eat Fewer Calories3

Rethink Your Drink

One way to cut calories is to think about what you drink. Drinks don’t fill you up the way food does. And, as you can see below, calories from drinks can really add up!

But here’s the good news: If you replace drinks that are high in calories with drinks that have low or no calories, you can save 641 calories a day!

Another way to cut calories is to think about how much you drink. This chart shows the calories in a variety of drinks, from highest to lowest. For high-calorie drinks, size really matters!

Rethink Your Drink2

Milk contains vitamins, minerals, and protein. But it also contains calories. Choosing low-fat or fat-free milk is a good way to cut calories and still get the things your body needs.

Rethink Your Drink 3
Drinks and Weight Loss

Better Drink Choices Made Easy

Use Nutrition Facts Wisely

Here is the Nutrition Facts label on a 20-ounce bottle of soda. It says that one serving is 8 ounces. It tells you that there are 21⁄2 servings in the bottle. And it lists the calories in one serving (100).

To figure out the calories in the whole bottle, multiply the calories in one serving by the number of servings in the bottle (100 x 21⁄2). If you were to drink the whole bottle, you would take in 250 calories.

Calories on the Go

Coffee drinks and smoothies may sound healthy. But the calories in some of your favorite items may surprise you. Check the website, or ask to see the Nutrition Facts. And when a coffee or smoothie craving kicks in, try these tips.

At the coffee shop:

Ask for your drink to be made with skim milk instead of whole milk.
Order the smallest size you can get.
Hold the flavors. The flavor syrups contain sugar and add calories.
Skip the whip. The whipped cream on top of coffee drinks adds calories and fat.
Order a plain cup of coffee with skim milk. Or drink it black.

At the smoothie stand:

Order a child’s size, if you can get it.
Pick the smoothie with the least calories.
Ask for your smoothie to be made without added sugar. Fruit is naturally sweet.

Better Drink Choices

Here are some ideas for healthy drinks:

Add a splash of 100% juice to plain sparkling water.
Carry a water bottle. Refill it all day long.
Choose water or sparkling water.
Drink tea or coffee without sugar. Enjoy them hot or cold.
Flavor water with no-calorie drink mix.
Have fun with water. Add slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or watermelon.
Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge. Or add ice to water.
Put your pitcher of water on the table during meals.
When you do get drinks that contain sugar, choose the smallest size you can get.

Ways to Burn Calories

How many calories does activity burn?

This chart shows about how many calories a person who weighs 154 pounds would burn at a moderate pace.

Ways to Burn Calories