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Healthy Weight

Calories and Body Weight Basics

by Herbalife Staff July 26, 2023

What are Calories?

  • Units of energy your body uses to fuel its functions and activities.
  • Created from proteins, fats and carbohydrates found in our foods and beverages.
  • Necessary for basic body functions like keeping the heart, brain and lungs functioning (also known as basal metabolism).
  • Essential to fuel activity – from the smallest hand gesture to a 5 km run.

The number of calories we need each day depends on how much we weigh, how much muscle mass we have and how active we are.

  • If you consume more calories than your body needs, those extra calories will be stored as fat.
  • If you consume less calories than your body needs, your previously stored calories (fat) will be used to supply additional energy.

How To Lose Weight?

  • By cutting down 500 calories per day, you will cut a total of 3,500 calories per week – resulting in the loss of 0.5 kg of body fat. But never consume fewer than 1,200 calories per day*.
  • If you want to lose more than 0.5 kg a week, you will need to either reduce your calorie intake further or increase the amount of calories you burn with exercise*.

How to Maintain Weight?

Balance calories from food and beverages with calories expended*.

If you are a woman:

You will need about 12 calories for every pound of body weight (a 150-lb woman needs about 1,800 calories a day).

If you are a man:

You will need about 14 calories for every pound of body weight (a 200-pound man needs about 2,800 calories a day).

*Source: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).