I don’t remember the last time I counted calories. Maybe that explains the snug fit of my shorts and slacks.

People are fatter today, more so than ever in the country’s history. Obesity is an epidemic in some demographic groups. One of the reasons is that most of us don’t pay attention to the math of calorie counting.

Math is easy. Counting calories is not. It takes effort to determine how many calories there are in what we eat. It takes effort to remember how many calories we’ve counted through the course of the day. And it takes effort to subtract the total calories from our daily limit.

What? There’s a daily limit to the number of calories we should have?

Yes. Calorie counting is math. So is calorie consumption. Our bodies need a certain number of calories to sustain weight, based upon our size, metabolism, exercise, and genes.

Exceed that daily number for awhile, whatever it is, and weight begins to go up. Reduce the number of calories and weight should drop. That part of the math is easy.

Not so easy to figure out are all the other variables. Metabolism goes up and down because of other influences. Fat plays a part, too. So does exercise. So does our vision. Trust me, I can gain weight just looking at piece of double fudge chocolate cake with chocolate icing.

Think about it. How many calories should you take in each day to maintain your weight (all other factors remaining somewhat constant)? Maybe 2,000? Maybe more?

Assume that your daily caloric intake should be about 2,500 calories. How many calories was in your breakfast? How many for lunch? How many for dinner? How many for the 14 snacks between breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime?

See the problem? We have no idea. Is it any wonder much of the country’s inhabitants are overweight?

Counting calories is tough work. I’ve been trying to figure out my breakfast and lunch. That made me tired. Now I need a snack and a nap.