Weight management is a very important part of living and maintaining a healthy life. Medical professionals agree that the key to weight management is calorie balance – balancing the amount of calories you consume from all foods and beverages with the amount of calories you burn through basic body functions and physical activity.
What does the term calorie balance mean?
Calorie balance refers to the relationship between the calories you consume from all foods and beverages and the calories you expend in basic body functions and through physical activity. When you are in calorie balance, the amount of calories you take in equals the amount of calories you burn and you maintain your body weight.
Are calorie balance and energy balance the same thing?
Yes. The terms mean the same thing.
Why is calorie balance important?
The amount of calories you consume and the amount of calories you use up determine whether you maintain, gain, or lose weight. When the number of calories you consume exceeds the number of calories you burn, your body weight will increase. Conversely, when the number of calories you consume is less than the number of calories you burn, your body weight will decrease. So, to maintain a constant weight, you need to balance calories consumed and calories burned.
Proper calorie balance is the long-term way to actively manage your weight through diet and exercise. And, understanding your own body’s caloric needs is important for your own energy balance equation.
Are all calories the same?
All calories are the same when it comes to weight management. However, a healthy diet requires more than just calories. Some foods and beverages are nutrient-dense meaning they contain lots of nutrition, vitamins and minerals along with their calories. Other foods and beverages don’t have these nutrients and only have calories. A healthy diet must include nutrient-dense foods but also has room for some foods and beverages just for fun.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans provide guidance on how many calories we can consume in total and from foods and beverages with few nutrients. For foods and beverages with few nutrients, the amount ranges from 130 calories per day (for inactive older women) to 650 calories per day (for active young men). Many of our sugar sweetened beverages are available in sizes that fit within this range. And, of course, we also offer hundreds of beverage choices that contain few if any calories.
How do I know how many calories I'm consuming?
There are many sources of calorie information including comprehensive resources like the database available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, company resources like this website, and the Nutrition Facts Panels on the back of foods and beverages. In addition, to make calorie information even more clear and understandable, PepsiCo voluntarily puts calorie labels on the front of all our beverage packages.
How do I know how many calories I should be consuming and how much exercise I need?
In addition to consulting your health care professional, you may want to visit ChooseMyPlate.org, a website provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help people understand and follow the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
How can I reduce the calories I consume from beverages?
If you want to cut back on beverage calories, try a smaller size package like a 16-ounce instead of a 20-ounce bottle or a 7.5-ounce instead of a 12-ounce can. Or, choose reduced-calorie, low-calorie or zero-calorie versions of your favorite beverages. Fortunately, almost all of PepsiCo’s beverages are available in reduced-calorie versions like Trop50 and G2 to name a few and of course we have many offerings with virtually no calories such as Diet Pepsi, Diet Mtn Dew and Aquafina.
Can drinking diet drinks help me lose weight -- and keep it off?
Science has shown that drinking diet beverages can be a useful way to reduce calorie intake. Many studies have shown that when people replace full-calorie beverages with low-calorie versions, they lose weight. And, a study of successful weight losers (people who lost over 60 pounds and kept it off for over 11 years) found that these successful weight losers drank three times the amount of diet beverages compared to those who never had a weight problem. But, remember, the bottom line for weight management is calorie balance -- consuming only as many calories as you burn throughout the day -- or less, if you are trying to lose weight.
Why do some people say that drinking diet beverages makes you gain weight?
Some studies have shown an association between consumption of diet beverages and being overweight. However, the authors of these studies and other medical professionals in the field are quick to point out that an association does not mean that diet drinks cause weight gain. It simply means that people who are overweight are more likely to consume diet beverages.
Does drinking sugared beverages cause obesity?
No single food, beverage or ingredient causes obesity. People gain weight when they consume more calories than they use. It doesn’t matter whether the calories come from foods or beverages. They all count. If you know how many calories you can consume, you can fit some of your favorite foods and beverages into a healthy eating plan without gaining weight.
Is it true that sugared beverages are the number one source of calories in the American diet?
According to government data cited in the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2010), beverages sweetened with sugar (including soda, sports drinks, sweetened waters, energy drinks and fruit drinks categories) account for about 6 percent of the total calories in the American diet. The same data shows that Americans consume about 9 percent of their calories from desserts (including dairy-based and grain-based dessert categories). If deserts are considered in separate categories, and sugar sweetened beverage categories are combined, sugared beverages appear to be the largest source of calories in the diet.