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How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day to Lose 10 Pounds in a Month?

author image Michelle Colder Carras
Michelle Colder Carras is a freelance writer with 15 years' experience and has written for "Genesee Valley Parent," "The Baltimore Sun," and various online publications. She received her B.A. in psychology from the Johns Hopkins University.
How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day to Lose 10 Pounds in a Month?
Smoothies can be a delicious part of your diet. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

Weight loss is simple if you remember one basic principle: You must eat fewer calories than you expend as energy. You can do this by eating less, getting more exercise, or a combination of both.

Size Matters

You can eat whatever you want when you're trying to lose weight, as long as you eat fewer calories than the amount of energy you expend. Start by controlling portions.

Facts and Figures

To lose a pound of weight, you must burn 3,500 more calories than you take in. To lose 10 pounds in a month, you need to burn 35,000 calories more than you eat. That works out to a net difference of 1,200 calories a day.

Healthy Weight Loss

Weight-loss efforts that focus on losing that much weight in a short amount of time are hard to maintain. MayoClinic.com recommends trying to lose 4 to 8 lbs. a month as a healthy goal, which works out to a net loss of only 500 to 1,000 calories a day.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture's My Pyramid Tracker can help you calculate how many calories you need to eat each day to move toward a healthy weight. The website also contains a system to help you keep track of calories you burn through activity.

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