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I am sure you have answered this before, but I'm new to Hungry Girl and haven't figured out how to search the site yet. How do I know how many calories I burn in a day? Is it the same for everyone? Where can I get such information? It would be VERY helpful to me (and, I would think, ANYONE!). Thanks!

Dear Calorie-Challenged,

Yep, I have covered this before. But it is so important that it's worth addressing again. This link will take you to a "BMR Calculator". Based on things like your height, weight, age, and gender, that tool will tell you how many calories your body would burn if you stayed in bed all day and did no activity whatsoever. In other words, it tells you how many calories your body burns per day when it's at rest. That number is your Basal Metabolic Rate, hence the BMR. If you do more activity than just lying around all day (which you do, I hope!), your body burns additional calories. So DON'T use your BMR as the total number of calories you need to eat in a day. Use that info as a baseline from which to add calories for ALL the activities you do -- even walking the dog and running errands count! If you are trying to lose weight, your goal is to burn more calories than you take in. But you should never deprive yourself of TOO many calories -- that can actually slow down your BMR and keep you from losing weight. Exercise -- like cardio and weight training -- can increase your BMR (which is great). If you want to know more about this topic, consult a doctor or nutrition professional (remember I'm neither -- I'm just hungry!). Here's the link to that calculator again. Definitely forward this email to lots of people because, like you said, EVERYONE wants this info! And check out our "Calorie City" email for LOTS more on this subject. BTW, if you want to search HG, head to the homepage and enter a keyword or two into our nifty search bar!

Dear Hungry Girl,

What do you think are the biggest mistakes people make when dieting? Are there any secrets? I keep losing and gaining the same 20 lbs. Ugh!

Diet Diva
Dear DD,

There are many mistakes people tend to make when dieting. I'm going to list some of the biggies. And remember, this is just my opinion.

1. Following fad diets. I'm not a fan of fad diets. They don't teach you how to eat in a way you can live with forever. Anyone can follow a set plan for a limited time and lose weight. The hard part is maintaining that weight loss in the long term. If you try to stick with the fad diet's style of eating, you eventually give up or get bored. If you go back to your old eating habits, you regain the weight. This is a huge problem and the reason why I don't recommend fad dieting.

2. Skipping meals. If you skip meals you'll only end up hungrier and more likely to eat too much and/or the wrong thing. It's that simple. Eat breakfast. Eat lunch. And eat dinner!

3. Drinking calories. Sheesh! Drinking your calories is a WASTE... really. It's much more satisfying to chew food than it is to drink stuff. Having a low-calorie liquid swap is fine -- like treating yourself to one of our Swappuccinos or a diet hot cocoa when you're craving the real thing. But it's too easy to sip an extra 300 - 500 calories a day if you drink calorie-packed beverages. Avoid those and stick with water for the most part.

4. Living in denial. Don't pretend there are no calories in condiments, that a salad is healthy and diet-friendly no matter what, and that food you eat while standing (or on an airplane, etc., etc.) doesn't count. It ALL counts!

5. Not reading labels. READ LABELS, people! And read them CAREFULLY. Take note of serving sizes and servings per package. This is KEY.

There you have it... those are five mistakes that are very common. And no, there are no real secrets to dieting -- except that you need to find a way to eat that'll work for you FOREVER. That's the one thing people tend to forget -- the forever factor. Thanks for the email!

Hey! Today, October 22nd, is National Nut Day. It's a time to celebrate with a few handfuls of our favorite pistachios, Everybody's Nuts!, or a 100-calorie pack of almonds from Blue Diamond -- NOT a time to whoop it up with that weirdo who lives up the street.
HG News You Can Use! Change your eating habits for the better this fall. Weight Watchers ROCKS and they can help. Click here NOW!

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