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Vanderbilt Center for Human Nutrition

1211 21st Avenue South
514 Medical Arts Building
Nashville, TN 37232-2713
Phone: 615-936-1288
Fax: 615-936-0006

Nutrition Bytes

Calorie Connection

Making the calorie connection for weight loss

There are several myths floating around these days about weight loss. Which diets are successful, which ones are 'fad'. 'Carbohydrates are evil!' 'Fat makes you fat!' The truth is that sustained, healthy weight loss simply boils down to the making the calorie connection. Calories in must be less than calories out for one to lose weight successfully. Here are some simple ideas for ways to decrease the calories you take in and ways to increase the calories you burn during the day. Weight loss is a balancing act. It involves intake of fat, carbohydrate, and protein. So enjoy them all, but remember to lose weight you must expend more calories than you consume.

Five simple ways to eat fewer calories during the day

  • Choose low calorie breakfast items versus high calorie ones i.e. English muffins (140 calories) rather than deli bagels (300-400 calories), skim milk (80 calories per cup) rather than whole milk (150 calories per cup).
  • Choose low calorie snacks for about 100-200 calories examples include nonfat, sugar-free yogurt (100 calories), fresh strawberries (1 cup = 45 calories), or fat-free apple Newtons (2 = 100 calories). 
  • Choose salads for lunch avoiding high fat dressings and cheeses.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Often times it is easy to mistake thirst for hunger. Eight cups per day is optimal.
  • Avoid snacking late in the evening. You are less likely to burn off the calories consumed late in the day.

Five simple ways to expend more calories during the day

  • Take a walk with a friend for lunch rather than meeting for pizza.
  • Always take the stairs. Even if you can only tolerate taking them down at first. Eventually you can build up to taking them up several floors.
  • Park farther away at work and on errands. All of the extra steps do add up.
  • Make breaks count. While waiting for appointments take a walk up and down the halls or around the building.
  • While unloading groceries and putting laundry away make several trips. All of the extra activity adds up to more calories burned. 
  • For more information about our weight loss trials call 615-936-0985 or 615-936-0365