Calories – What are calories and how do I burn them?


You know how most women are constantly obsessed about counting calories?


How often have you heard someone ask something like this:

How many calories per day?

How many calories in a pound?

How many calories in an egg?

How many calories in an apple?

Where’s my nutrition calculator????

How are calories burned?

What’s the perfect 1200 calorie meal plan?


Calories, calories, calories…You know what I’m talking about, right? Well, fear calories no more! Everybody knows knowledge is power. How is your knowledge about calories? What are calories to you? Is it a word “other people use”? Is it a “dirty word” to you? How do you feel when you hear the word, “calories”.

Everybody hates a calorie count diet. Understandably so. Who likes to weigh, measure and calculate calories or just think about how many calories are in the food you are about to eat? It puts a damper on the whole eating experience! Eating is supposed to be fun and enjoyable, right? Absolutely!!!

That is why we bring you this series on calories. To empower you with the requisite knowledge to conquer your fear of calories! To eat calories without feeling guilty! To understand what calories are and what they are not. To empower you with the knowledge and skills to do with your body just what you want! Want to gain weight? No problem. Want to lose weight? No problem. Want to just be healthy? No problem. Want to build extra muscle tissue? No problem. Want to eat ice cream and chocolate cake, without feeling guilty? No problem!!!

So let’s get to it.

This article is all about answering the question: what are calories?

Here goes:

Calories are

  • 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-mile 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 many calories in a pound? One pound = approximately 3,500 calories


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 1 pound of body fat. But never consume fewer than 1,200 calories per day, especially if you are not supplementing with proper cellular nutritional supplements.

If you want to lose more than 1 pound a week, you will need to either reduce your calorie intake further, or increase the amount of calories you burn with exercise.


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.)



To Gain Weight you simply need to consume more calories per day, than your body is burning. However, if you want to gain muscle weight, instead of fat, it’s highly recommended that you add loads of good quality protein to your diet, but more about that later in the series.

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


So you see, your body functions like a furnace. It burns calories, which gives off energy, with which your body then performs all kinds of bodily functions. Your RMR (resting metabolic rate), is the rate at which your body burns calories whilst at rest (lying down for a 24 hour period) to do the basic bodily functions like breathing etc. Your RMR is measured using your lean body mass. But more about that later.

Everything you put into your mouth to eat or drink, contains calories. Some are “empty calories”, like throwing straw into a furnace. Not much substance to it. It gives a short burst of energy and that’s that. Some carbohydrates are like that. Good quality proteins is like good firewood for your body’s furnace; producing more long-lasting energy. It’s also great for maintaining your muscle mass, which is the engine so to speak. Your muscles are primarily responsible for the calories burned for the day.

Avoid protein deficient diets, especially those that cut your daily calorie intake down to below your RMR. Why? Because when your muscles do not get the protein it needs, it will “break down”. The longer you stay on those diets the more muscle mass you will lose and the less calories your body will burn. Yes, you heard me correctly…your body’s metabolism will slow down and you will actually burn less calories. Your body needs lots of good quality protein. Even if you think you get enough proteins in, you probably don’t.

Have you ever wondered why some people can just eat and eat, and they remain slim? Unfair, right? Well, no. They just have a healthy muscle mass that can burn those calories before it get’s deposited as fat.


Before I go, look at the importance that protein plays in your daily calorie intake:

Getting enough protein helps your body meet the demands of daily living. And studies show, you probably need more if you are working to build muscle, if you’re dieting and as you age.

When protein intake is out of whack, it undermines energy, exercise performance and overall health. New research has even found that a protein-rich diet helps to maximize fat loss while minimizing loss of lean body mass.

An easy way to estimate your daily protein needs is to divide your current weight in half. The number you get is the amount of protein (in grams) that you should be eating daily.

* Source
Remember: It’s your weight in pounds, not kilograms. If you only know your weight in kilograms, multiply it by 2.20462 to get the Pounds. Now divide that number in half to get your approximate minimum daily protein needs. If you diet, work out or have aged, your protein needs will be more. More on calculating your exact protein needs in the next article.


So, what are calories? Calories are units of energy. Like petrol for your car. Make sure you fill up with the best “fuel” possible. Your body deserves it. After all, we all know that we have only one body. If we don’t take care of it, where are we going to live?

My family and I fill up (supplement) with the Herbalife cellular nutrition program. It provides us not only with a superior quality protein, but it also provides us with all the nutrients our bodies need on a daily basis to function at an optimum level. The best part: we don’t even have to count calories!  Click on the video on the top right of this page to hear why. You will be shocked to hear how much I used to weigh. 🙂


Related articles in the Calories Series:



caloriesHate counting calories?

Most people hate counting calories. Everybody knows that a “counting calories diet plan” is not sustainable for long term weight control. People who control their weight with Herbalife do not have to count their calories.

How many calories in an egg? Don’t care. All I have to know is that it’s a protein source. Everybody finds the Herbalife program so easy to use and most people love the taste of the shakes.

To find out more about the Herbalife products and how you can buy at wholesale directly from the company, just click on the Join Now button on the right. It will open up an information page for you where you will see the products in action. You can also just click here now.

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Leave A Reply (1 comment so far)

  • Will_Kilian

    Definition of calories: Invisible creatures living in your closet who sows your clothes smaller every night. 😀

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