Setting realistic weight loss goals and determining how many calories you should include in your diet requires estimating how many calories you eat and how many you burn each day. Sometimes these calculations can get a bit tedious.
The website Lifehacker just posted an article simplifying these calculations. Their approach is useful because a rough estimate of calories is enough to guide your eating and exercise habits. There really is no practical need for more precise calculations.
I would add one more number to know: 100. Walking or running one mile burns approximately 100 calories. The exact number depends on several factors including body weight and speed, but using 100 calories per mile makes calculations simple. For example, how many miles will you have to walk to burn off the the double mocha latte you had this morning?
By the way, Lifehacker regularly publishes articles on exercise and nutrition. I like the way they simplify sometimes complicated concepts and come up with practical solutions to common problems. From what I have seen, their interpretation and advice is consistent with the science, too.