How many calories do I need to burn to lose weight?

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Weight gain is simple– if you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. To tip the scale the other way, you’ll need to eat less calories than you burn. This is a calorie deficit. But exactly how many calories do I need to burn to lose weight?

More than half of the UK population is overweight or obese – 66 percent of men and 57 percent of women.

It’s easy to gain weight by eating more than we move, but losing it is a mental battle.

Losing weight when you are overweight or obese is important because you are at a higher risk of type two diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

Eating and drinking fewer calories and increasing physical activities is the only way to do so naturally.

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How many calories do I need to burn to lose weight?

According to the Mayo Clinic, you need to burn 3,500 calories to lose a pound.

Cutting back on 500 to 1,000 calories a day would mean you lose about one to two pounds a week.

However, your body still needs energy to keep you alive and your organs functioning properly.

It’s important to eat enough for your body, and this depends on your size, age, gender and activity levels.

Men need 2,5000 calories a day to maintain a healthy body weight and women need about 2,000 calories a day to do the same.

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, men should eat about 1,900 to 2,000 calories a day and women about 1,400 to 1,500 calories a day.

The average adult has about 200 to 300 more calories than they need a day, and this is snuck in through high fat and sugar foods and drinks.

Switch these foods for alternatives with fewer calories, or simply eat smaller portions of these high-fat and high-sugar foods.


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If you want to lose weight, you might need to start counting calories.

The NHS site explains: “Knowing the calorie content of different foods and drinks can be useful when it comes to achieving or maintaining a healthy weight.

“It can help us keep track of the amount of energy we put into our bodies and ensure we’re not eating too much.

“The calorie content of many foods and drinks is on the packaging as part of the nutrition label.

“You can look at the calorie figure to assess how a particular food or drink fits into your daily intake.”

The NHS site gives seven tips to help you control your calorie intake. They are:

  • Swap sugary fizzy drinks for diet versions with low or no calories. Even better, swap some soft drinks for sparkling water with a slice of lemon.
  • Swap the frying pan for the grill when cooking meat. You don’t need to add any oil.
  • Swap creamy or cheesy sauces for tomato or vegetable-based sauces on your pasta or meat and fish dishes.
  • Choose wholegrains, including wholemeal and wholegrain bread, or wholegrain breakfast cereals. Wholegrain foods contain more fibre and other nutrients. We also digest wholegrain foods more slowly, so they can help make us feel fuller for longer.
  • Swap a cake or biscuits for a currant bun or some malt loaf, plain or with reduced-fat spread.
  • Read food labels: they can help you choose foods that are lower in calories, as well as lower in saturated fat and sugars.
  • Alcohol is also high in calories, so cutting down could help you control your weight.

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