Whether you gain weight or lose weight is entirely dependent on just two factors: the number of calories that you consume and the number of calories that you burn. To lose weight you must expend more calories than you put into your body. Calories that you burn while exercising make up a portion of the calories that you expend during the day and thus influence the amount of weight that you gain or lose.

## Count Calorie Intake

The first step to controlling your weight loss is counting the number of calories that you take in. Keep a daily log detailing the number of calories contained in all food and drink that you consume. You can find most of the caloric information that you need by reading a food or beverage's nutritional information label. Keep your log complete by requesting nutritional information from any restaurant that you eat it and looking up caloric information for produce and other non-labeled foods at a nutrition and diet website.

## Calculate Basic Metabolism Rate

The second variable required to calculate expected weight loss is the number of calories that you burn per day at rest, or your basal metabolism rate. Individual BMR varies based on height, weight, age, gender and genetic factors. You can approximate your BMR using a calculator like the one found at www.quitehealthy.com/bmr-calorie-calculator. Fill out all fields under "Your Physical Profile" and click the "Calculate Results" button to estimate your BMR. The number that appears next to the "Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)" heading in the results box indicates the approximate number of calories that your body burns at rest. You should never reduce the number of calories that you eat below your BMR level; caloric intake under your BMR threshold can slow your metabolism and make it more difficult to lose weight.

## Calculate Calories Burned

The final part of the weight-loss equation is the number of calories that you burn during exercise and other daily activities. People burn about double their weight in calories each day from walking around their house, standing and other activities that are considered sedentary; this number decreases with age. Once you've multipled your weight by two, add the number of calories that you burn on the treadmill, playing sports or doing other activities. If you don't use an exercise machine that tracks calories burned then you can use the form on the right side of the page at quitehealthy.com/bmr-calorie-counter to estimate calories burned performing many common activities.

## Calculate Weight Loss

Once you have calculated your caloric intake, BMR and number of calories burned then you are ready to calculate your expected weight loss. Start with the number of calories consumed, then subtract your BMR calories and your calories burned through exercise. If the resulting number is greater than zero then you've consumed more calories than you've used and you should expect to gain weight, and if the result is less than zero then you should lose weight. If you consume 500 fewer calories per day than you burn via BMR and exercise then you will lose about one pound per week. If the formula doesn't properly predict your weight gain or loss then you should verify that you have accurately calculated calories consumed and calories burned, and if those figures are accurate then you must manually re-evaluate your BMR to reflect personal genetic factors that aren't accounted for by BMR estimates.