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Session 6-1

Tipping the Calorie Balance

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

Experts say that losing 1 to 2 pounds a week is a healthy goal for most adults. This gradual weight loss is the way to make lasting changes!

Achieving a Calorie Deficit

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.


Burn 500 more calories per day by being more active.


But the best way to reduce 500 calories per day is through a mixture of eating less and burning more.

– Do a high amount of physical activity unless you reduce the amount of calories you’re eating and drinking.
– Make substantial changes to your diet unless you increase the calories burned.

1. Your weight can stay the same.

– Calories in (food) are the same as calories out (physical activity).

2. You will gain weight.

– Calories in are greater than the calories out.

3. You will lose weight.

– Calories in are less than the calories out.

4. Your weight can reach a new balance at a new weight.

– Calories in are the same as calories out.

How To Create a Caloric Deficit

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?
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 600
Snack 200
Total Calorie Intake: 2,000 Total Calorie Burned: 310
1. By eating less:

Al reduced his calorie intake from 2200 to 2000 by having lighter meals. 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.