Most of us know the drill when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. We need a diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grain foods and lean meats. We should cut back on red meats, trans fats and sugary goodies.  Combine those healthful consumption habits with vigorous daily exercise and you might have a fighting chance to lose weight and keep it off. All of this, of course, after talking with your doctor.

What is harder to figure out is just how many calories we need. It’s one thing to look at the Nutritional Facts panel on the side of your box of cereal and concentrate on total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, sugars and protein. But if you’re not paying close attention to calories, you may be on the road to weight gain.

Julie Deardorff of the Los Angeles Times writes that few of us know how many calories we should be consuming.

If you want to learn more about calories or perhaps beat your partner at a game of Nutrition Trivia, read more from Times writer Deardorff.  Perhaps there’s a good reason you’ll see calories at the top of the Nutrition Label.