Want more tips and tricks for reaching your health goals? Join Lark!

Take our 2-minute survey to find out if you’re eligible to join Lark which includes a smart scale and the chance to earn a Fitbit®.
Start now
*Terms and conditions apply
Close icon
< Back to Resource Center
< Back to Member Blog

Burn More Calories Than You Take In

October 29, 2021
Burn More Calories Than You Take In - Lark Health

Are you at risk of prediabetes?

Lark can help lower your risk for Type 2 Diabetes through healthy habit formation, and data tracking.
Height: 5 ft 4 in
4' 0"
7' 0"
Weight: 160 lbs
90 lbs
500 lbs
Risk Level
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Build healthy habits
from your phone

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‚ÅÑ2 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‚ÅÑ2). 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

About Lark

Lark helps you eat better, move more, stress less, and improve your overall wellness. Lark’s digital coach is available 24/7 on your smartphone to give you personalized tips, recommendations, and motivation to lose weight and prevent chronic conditions like diabetes.

Read more

Get healthier with Lark & earn a Fitbit®

Lose weight, get more active, and eat better.
take 1-minute survey

Similar posts

Green beans with feta cheese and pine nutsGreen beans with feta cheese and pine nuts

Healthy Late-Night Snacks for Weight Loss

People say eating at night can lead to weight gain, but what if you’re hungry? Here are some tips to keep evening snacks healthy so you can go to bed without being hungry.

Learn more
What is Gestational Diabetes? (Pregnancy Diabetes) - Lark HealthWhat is Gestational Diabetes? (Pregnancy Diabetes) - Lark Health

What is Gestational Diabetes? (Pregnancy Diabetes)

Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy and causes high blood sugar that can affect your pregnancy and your baby's health.

Learn more
Getting the Most From Your Lark Diabetes Prevention Program - Lark HealthGetting the Most From Your Lark Diabetes Prevention Program - Lark Health

Getting the Most From Your Lark Diabetes Prevention Program

Diabetes may be a chronic condition that changes your life, but using Lark Diabetes Care can help, so great job getting started!

Learn more