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Calories Do Count
The latest study conducted by National Center for Health Statistics (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) found that U.S. women increased their daily calorie consumption 22 percent between 1971 and 2000, from 1542 calories per day to 1877 calories. During the same period the calorie intake for men increased 7 percent from 2450 calories per day to 2618 calories. It means that calories count even more now. Here are some facts that will help you undestand better calories:
To lose one U.S. pound (.454 kg), you must burn 3,500 more calories than you take in as food. Since healthy weight loss should not exceed 1-2 pounds per week, to lose one pound per week, you should burn an additional 500 calories per day, totaling to 3500 over 7 days.
While planing for a diet, you need to keep in mind the so-called resting metabolic rate (RMR) - amount of calories you body burns "by itself" to maintain your existence (heart beating, breathing and many other functions that we are even aware of). This rate of course depends on your body - first of all your weight and metabolism (which in its turn depeneds among other things on gender and age).
|Gender and weight||Age 35||Age 55|
|Male, 185 pounds||1760||1660|
|Female, 135 pounds||1260||1160|
Now, to give you some perspective since you have some ideas of where you are in terms of your RMR here are some numbers regarding calory burning during some activities (which primarily depends on your weight and energy required to perform an activity)
|Activity||185 pounds||135 pounds|
|Bicycling ( < 10 mph) 1 hour||330||240|
|Brushing teeth for 5 min||18||12|
|Cooking 1 hour||220||160|
|Driving 1 hour||180||130|
| Sex foreplay
|Sleeping 8 hours||620||450|
|Walking 1 hour@ 2 mph||235||170|
|Writing 1 hour||90||65|
NOTE: sleeping above can hardly be called an activity, but it's brought here to make a point of importance of sleeping.