Calorie Intake For Weight Loss
Are you tracking your calorie
intake? If you are trying to lose weight, then you want to know your
daily calories for weight loss. Losing weight, while in
can be very difficult, is in actuality a very simple formula.
Your calories consumed, or caloric intake, must be less than your
calories expended or burned.
consume calories through the drinks foods you eat. Different foods and
drinks will have different amounts of calories.
Eating a piece of cake
will have a higher calorie content than say a carrot stick (obviously).
It's pretty easy to determine that amount of calories you consume. You
just need to track what you eat.
out how many calories you burn is not as straight forward. You burn
calories when you exercise. This we all know.
But did you know you also
burn calories by just doing your normal everyday activities? You even
burn calories while sleeping.
Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is what
is responsible for these calories burned while at rest.
your BMR is critical in figuring out your calorie intake for weight
loss. In fact, your BMR accounts for up to 60% - 75% of the total
calories you burn in a day.
Basal Metabolic Rate
that you know how important your Basal Metabolic Rate is to losing
weight, let's take a closer look.
instance, a 25 year old woman weighing 160 lbs and 5’3” would have a
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) of 1,441.
This is the amount of
calories per day that her body would burn while at rest. Put another
way, this is the amount of energy she would need for basic body
Since these energy needs for the basic body
functions stay fairly consistent and are not easily changed, you can
expect this calorie expenditure to be about the same given the above
example of age, gender, weight and height are constant.
you know your BMR, then you would need to adjust this for your activity
level to determine your daily calorie intake needs in order to maintain
your current weight.
Let’s take this same 5’3” woman as an
example. If she was sedentary, meaning little or no exercise,
then she would need to consume 1,730 calories to maintain her existing
If she worked out or played moderately strenuous
sports 3 - 5 days a week, she would need 2,234 calories to maintain her
If she wanted to lose weight, then she would need to create a
calorie deficit, meaning burn more calories than she consumes.
Calculating Calorie Intake for Weight Loss
To calculate your calorie needs for weight loss, start by determining
your basal metabolic rate.
The easiest way is to us an online Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator.
also explains the math behind the numbers. So if
you are curious, be sure to scroll down to read all about BMR
you know the BMR (or your starting point), then you need to determine
what your calorie consumption should be based on your activity level.
Your calorie needs increase as your activity increases. You can also
use the BMR calculator for this (as it has a built in activity factor)
or use a weight
This weight loss calculator tells you the approximate calorie
consumption, or calorie intake, for weight loss.
You can also use the
slider to adjust the caloric amount to see approximately how long it
will take you to lose the weight and reach your goal.
Remember the number of calories you consume must be less than the
calories burned. This can be done by either reducing your
calories, creating a calorie deficit, or by adding activity. A person can do both, reducing daily calorie intake and adding
So, if this same woman currently consumed 1779 calories a day and added
exercises, which burned 200 calories, she would have created a calorie
If she also reduced her daily calorie intake by 300
(in addition to her exercise routine), then she would have a deficit of
Here's a searchable calorie intake calculator
you can use to
find out how many calories are in the foods you eat.
How Much is Too Much
When it comes to calorie intake for weight loss, there is such a thing
as reducing calories by too much.
Although it would be tempting to reduce your calories by more than a
1000, this would actually cause your metabolism to slow down, meaning
you have lowered your basal metabolic rate.
Experts say to decrease your calorie intake by 500 calories and no more
than 1000 calories to lose weight. If you are closer to your
ideal weight, then even reducing your caloric intake by 500 or 1000 may
be too much.
When a person reduces their calorie intake by too much, the body reacts
by going into survival mode. This survival mode dates back to
the cave man days when it was literally feast or famine.
If the body received very little food, it would assume it was a time of
famine and therefore would begin to store food intake as fat and slow
down the body’s metabolism, saving energy for when it was
needed. Although food is readily available to us now, our
body still reverts to the feast or famine concept and will go into
So how much is too much when reducing calories? This will
really depend on your current situation and how close you may be to
your ideal weight. Other factors would be your age, gender and activity
As a general rule however it is recommended that a woman get at least
1200 calories per day and for a man this would be 1800 calories per
day. This number should be increased if your activity level is
Do not go below these levels. Also, monitor your
progress. If you see that you are losing weight too slowly or
not at all, try adding some calories as this may increase your
metabolism and get you back on track.
If you are a teen, then reducing your calorie intake by too much can
harm your growing process. Be sure to read this article to
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