Extra fat, especially belly fat, stresses your body, heart and blood vessels. If you stay within the normal weight range for your height, you’ll lower your risk for potentially life-threatening diseases like heart disease, stroke, hypertension and diabetes.
Below, dietitian Kate Patton, MEd, RD, LD, shows you where to find hidden calories in your favorite foods and trim empty ones. How much should you try to cut your calorie intake? If you’re ambitious, set your goal at 500 calories a day, and you’ll lose 1 pound a week. But to avoid frustration, a goal of 200 to 300 calories per day is usually more realistic. Exercise can help you burn up the rest.