Back to Blogs
5m read

Calorie Balance

Chew on this!

Did you know one pound of fat contains approximately 3,500 calories?

What are calories? 

Calories are a measure of energy.  

  • Calorie Intake: You take calories in when you eat food.  Calories come from carbohydrates, proteins, fats and alcohol.   
  • Calorie Burn: You burn calories up doing normal things (things like sleeping, breathing and working).  You also burn calories when being physically active.   


Creating Calorie Balance 

Your body weight is a result of the balance between the calories you take in and the calories you burn.  

  • If you eat the same number of calories you burn each day, your weight can stay the same. 
  • If you eat more calories than you burn each day, you can gain weight.
  • If you burn more calories than you eat each day, you can lose weight.  

Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Work Together

You can save on calories by eating less or moving more, but if you do both together you'll be able to keep the balance level more easily and still enjoy all of your favorite foods.  You'll also lower chronic disease risk!  

Let's look at an example:  
If I eat 2 slices of Round Table's Maui Maui Pizza with original crust, I'll consume about 350 calories.  

  • If I eat less - say, 1 slice instead of 2 - I'll save 170 calories.  
  • If I eat the same amount, but move more - say, 30 minutes of brisk walking - I'll save about 170 calories. 
  • If I do both - eat 1 slice, get active for 30 minutes (and perhaps enjoy a salad with light dressing), I'll save about 320 calories and increase my fiber and vitamin intake. I've doubled my savings!
  • If I do this - eat less and move more - every day for 7 days, I'll lose just over 0.5 pounds this week!  


Say what?!

That's right - I said 0.5 pounds this week! 

  • Remember, 1 pound of fat contains about 3,500 calories.
  • If I save 320 calories per day for 7 days, that equals 2,240 calories by Sunday.
  • Divide 2,240 by 3,500 calories and I've lost 0.64 pounds.
  • Multiply this savings by 52 (weeks) and that's more than 30 pounds lost in a year, and I'm still eating my pizza! 

Have your cake and eat it, too!   

It's true what they say, we can eat what we want and be successful at losing weight.  The secret is moderation (eating it less often), smaller portions (eating less of it) and regular moderate-intensity movement (to burn more calories).  

Try these tips for calorie savings:

  • Log your food intake and activity output daily.  Several great apps exist to help you get started.
  • Split your next meal with a friend or co-worker
  • Enjoy a green salad 20 minutes before dinner
  • Make your next meeting a "walk and talk"
  • Sub chocolate covered fruit for dessert 
  • Keep a calendar of all the physical activity you've completed throughout the month 



Make your next meal mindful and your next bout of physical activity moderate!  
Join us at the Y for your next workout