Dieting For Dummies
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Protein, carbohydrate, and fat make up the calorie content of all foods. Although not considered a nutrient, alcohol also provides calories. Take a quick look at what various foods add up to calorie-wise:

  • 1 gram of protein contains 4 calories.

  • 1 gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories.

  • 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories.

  • 1 gram of alcohol contains 7 calories.

The remaining nutrients — water, minerals, and vitamins — don’t provide calories nor does fiber or cholesterol.

Because there are 3,500 calories in a pound and 7 days in a week, you must cut your daily calorie intake by 500 to lose 1 pound a week (3,500 divided by 7 = 500).

To lose 1-1/2 pounds per week, you need to cut 750 calories a day. A 2-pounds-a-week loss means eliminating 1,000 calories a day. A faster rate of weight loss is generally associated with weight regain and yo-yo dieting. Eating less is one way to cut calories, but if you add exercise, you don’t have to restrict your intake so severely to lose the weight that you want to lose.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Jane Kirby, RD is a registered dietitian and member of the American Dietetic Association. She is the food and nutrition editor of Real Simple magazine and owner of The Vermont Cooking School, IncTM in Charlotte, Vermont. Jane is the former editor of Eating Well magazine and the food and nuitrition editor for Glamour. She served on the dietetics staff of the Massachusettes General Hospital in Boston, where she  completed graduate work in nutrition. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Marymount College.

The American Dietetic Association is the world’s largest group of nutrition and health professionals. As an advocate of the profession, the ADA serves the public by promoting optimal nutrition, health, and well-being.

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