PDFs by language
Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides support for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
Chat live online
Select the Live Chat button at the bottom of the page
At our National Cancer Information Center trained Cancer Information Specialists can answer questions 24 hours a day, every day of the year to empower you with accurate, up-to-date information to help you make educated health decisions. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with valuable services and resources.
Or ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
It's no secret, getting to a healthy weight is as simple as balancing the calories you eat with the calories you burn. When that doesn’t happen, you gain weight. Everything you eat has calories, and everything you do uses calories. For example, if you weigh150 pounds and are active, you need about 2,250 calories per day to maintain this weight, versus about 1,950 calories if you are sedentary.
It helps to know that 1 pound of body fat equals 3,500 calories. That means that to lose 1 pound per week, you need to create a “deficit” of 500 calories per day. You can do this, for example, by eating 250 fewer calories a day, and burning an extra 250 calories through physical activity (such as by walking 2½ miles).
It seems like everything these days is “super-sized.” Cutting back on calories can be as simple as watching your portion sizes, especially of foods and beverages that are high in fat or sugar.
Eating smaller portions of food is one of the easiest ways to cut back on calories – but it can also be one of the most challenging, with the current trend of super-sizing. Huge portions, all-you-can-eat-buffets, and extra-large “single servings” of chips, candy bars, and other snack foods can all lead to overeating.
How do you know a reasonable portion of food when you see it? Visualize the objects mentioned below when eating out, planning a meal, or grabbing a snack. For example, for people who eat meat, the amount recommended as part of a healthy meal is 3 to 4 ounces – it will look about the same size as a deck of cards.
Even some bagels have become super-sized, which gives this reasonably healthy breakfast item a high calorie count. Bakeries and grocery stores often carry jumbo bagels that measure 4¼ inches across and contain 300 to 400 calories each. A regular, 3-inch-diameter bagel has about 150 calories.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends eating a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables each day to help prevent cancer. Substitute low calorie, high-fiber fruits and vegetables for higher calorie foods and snacks – it will help you get the fruits and vegetables you need, feel full, and save on calories!
The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
Last Revised: October 18, 2021
American Cancer Society medical information is copyrighted material. For reprint requests, please see our Content Usage Policy.