Losing weight passively is what is commonly referred to as "dieting." While there are different types of diets, all have something in common: every diet manipulates the calorie consumption versus expenditure ratio. In short, you can't gain or maintain your weight if your body burns more calories than you consume. There are tried and true diets and downright gimmicks, but the common denominator remains the same. While there are ways of making your mind think your stomach is full and means and methods of keeping your appetite satiated, you have to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight.

## Calculating Daily Calorie Expenditure and Intake

#### Step 1

Estimate your basal metabolic rate -- BMR. Multiply your body weight by 10. If you weigh 195 pounds, then your BMR is 1950 calories. Next, calculate your activity level -- AL. Multiply your BMR by .20, .30, .40 or .50, depending upon the level at which you exert yourself each day. If you are seated the majority of each day, multiply BMR by .20. Multiply your BMR by .30 if you are seated half the day and moving on your feet the other half. Multiply it by .40 if you are on your feet moving all day. Multiply by .50 if you labor vigorously on your feet all day, breathing hard and sweating for an hour or more. Add the sum of the calculation to your BMR for your AL calorie total.

#### Step 2

Calculate the number of calories you burn digesting food -- your BD -- by multiplying the sum of your BMR and your AL by .10. Take the product of the calculation and add it to the combined total of your BMR and AL for your BD. Finally, add the BMR and AL sums together, in addition to your BD total, for your total calorie expenditure each day -- your TCE. The formula simplified: (BMR + AL + BD) = TCE.

#### Step 3

Compile a list of the foods you eat regularly, including complete meals, snacks and beverages. Estimate the number of ounce of each food you consume per serving. Use a calorie counter to determine the number of calories in each ounce of food and multiply that by the number of ounces you consume.

## Consumption Versus Expenditure

#### Step 1

Plan your meals -- or don't -- either way, consume between 500 and 1,000 calories less than your total calorie expenditure. Plan your meals in order to make certain you can eat something late in the day or at night before bed or you can simply stop eating when you get within 500 or 1,000 calories of your TCE.

#### Step 2

Write everything down. Write down the estimated number of calories you consume everyday and subtract that total from your TCE. Keep a running total of how many calories less you consume each day than you burn. Tally the difference between weekly consumption and weekly burn.

#### Step 3

Weigh yourself twice a week. Get on the scale first thing in the morning, immediately after you empty your bowels and before you consume anything. Compare the weight you've lost to the number of calories you estimated you burned. If you are losing more than 2 pounds a week, increase your consumption. If you are losing less than 1 pound, decrease your consumption.

#### Tips

- Take the time to compile a list of the foods you typically eat. It will not take you long. Even if you include foods you do not eat on a regular basis, you will be surprised how short the list is.
- There are 3,500 calories in one pound of stored body fat. Remembering that is the key to calculating your rate of weight loss.