Session 6

Tipping the Calorie Balance

Getting to and staying at a healthy weight requires both a balanced eating plan (calories IN) and regular physical activity (calories OUT).

Session 6-1

Achieving a Calorie Deficit

Balancing Food and Activity

1. Your weight can stay the same.

Your weight is a result of the balance between food (calories in) and activity (calories out). When the amount of calories in and out is the same, your weight will stay the same.

2. You will gain weight.

If you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight.

3. Your will lose weight.

If you want to change your weight, you need to tip the balance in favor of fewer calories in and more calories out. The best way to do so is to eat less and be more active.

How To Create a Caloric Deficit

Experts say that losing 1 to 2 pounds a week is a healthy goal for most adults.
To lose 1 pound a week, you need to burn at least 3,500 more calories than you take in each week. That’s 500 calories per day.

What are some ways that you could reduce 500 calories each day?


Take in 500 fewer calories per day by changing your eating habits.

However you’d have to make substantial changes to your diet

Burn 500 more calories per day by being more active.

However you’d have to do a high amount of physical activity.
So the best way to reduce 500 calories per day is through a mixture of eating less and burning more.

Let’s use Al as an example:

Al currently takes in an average of 2200 calories/day.

So Al’s new net calorie goal should be 2200 minus 500 = 1700 calories/day.

How did Al cut 500 calories per day to reach his calorie goal?

1. By eating less:
Al reduced his calorie intake from 2200 to 2000 by cutting out his evening snack. That’s 200 calories less.
2. By burning more:
Al burned 310 more calories doing exercise
His total calorie reduction is: 200 + 310 = 510 calories
Al’s new net calorie count:
To figure out Al’s new net calorie count, subtract the calories he burned from the calories he took in. That is, 2000 – 310 = 1690. This is slightly below his calorie goal.

Here’s what Al’s new day looks like:

Food Calories Calories in Activity Calories out
Breakfast 400 Walk the dog briskly 90
Snack 200 Mow the lawn 100
Lunch 500 Brisk walk after dinner 120
Snack 100
Dinner 800
Snack 200 0
Total Calorie Intake: 2,000 Total Calorie Burned: 310