How Many Calories Should I Be Eating – When you start a weight loss diet, you know how to eat well and eat healthy, but how do you figure out how many calories to eat?
We know that creating a calorie deficit helps us lose weight, but how much do we need to lose to lose weight?
How Many Calories Should I Be Eating
If we are not careful, we can cut our calories too much and when you do, you run the risk of not losing weight, because your body is in starvation mode and stores fat and you can find yourself lethargic and unhealthy. . Your body doesn’t have enough fuel to function properly.
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So how do you find the right calorie balance for your weight loss diet, if you’re trying to lose a few pounds?
As a rule of thumb, we know that general NHS guidelines state that women should eat around 2000 calories a day and men should eat 2500 to maintain weight.
This will depend a lot on the individual, but the good news is, you can figure it out and know how many calories you should be eating to lose weight.
To do this, you need to work on your basal metabolic rate (BMR) – basically the number of calories your body burns through exercise.
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Please note – these calculations are subject to change or variation and are not intended to be 100% accurate.
We know this might sound a little complicated, so here’s an example using Susan, who is 36 years old, 167cm (about 5ft 6) tall and weighs 81kg (about 12 and a half stone).
So, at the very least, Susan needs to eat 1834 calories per day to maintain her energy level and standard of living because that’s how many calories her body burns just sitting there!
But it doesn’t end there, we also have to account for movement and activity, and this helps us calculate Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).
Pdf) How Many Calories Should I Eat A Day?
Your TDEE is the total number of calories you burn in a given day doing things like walking around, climbing stairs, swimming, walking to your car, and whatever else you exercise.
To calculate your TDEE, you multiply your BMR number by how active you are, in Susan’s case, 1902:
In Susan’s case, she has an odd job, but attends several Zumba classes a week, so we’ll multiply her BMR by the mildly active squared of 1.375.
So this equation shows us that Susan needs to consume about 2521 calories per day and she needs to keep her weight under control.
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In general, if you want to lose weight, you should aim to reduce your TDEE figure by 20% and this will allow you to lose 1-2lbs per week.
Using a 504 calorie deficit, Susan will lose more than 1 pound per week, since we know that 1 pound of weight loss = 3,500 calorie deficit.
If you watch your calories, how many do you consume? Have you ever checked your TDEE number to see how much you should be eating?
If you would like more help with your calorie intake, or what to eat, please contact us.
How Much Should I Eat? Quantity And Quality
We have expert weight loss doctors who can advise you medically on how to lose weight in a sustainable and appropriate way without putting your health at risk. It’s easy enough to estimate how many calories you should be eating in a day. All you need to do is enter your age, gender, weight, height and activity level into our online calorie calculator and you’ll get an estimate of how many calories you need to eat per day to maintain your current weight.
The problem with figuring out how many calories you need to lose weight is that everyone has unique and individual needs.
There are some general equations and calorie tables that can be used as a guide, and can be useful tools as a starting point.
The average woman needs to eat about 1800 calories per day to maintain her current weight. For men, the average man needs to eat about 2500 calories per day to maintain his weight.
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For example, women ages 31-50 who are moderately active need about 2,000 calories per day compared to 1,800 calories per day who are sedentary.
Sedentary activity level accounts for activities of daily living. Moderate activity is equivalent to walking 1.5-3 miles per day at 3-4 MPH in addition to activities of daily living.
The active category is equivalent to walking more than 3 miles per day at about 3-4 MPH, excluding activities of daily living.
As mentioned above, one of the easiest and most effective ways to find out how many calories you need to eat per day to maintain your current weight or how many calories to lose weight is to use our calorie calculator below.
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These numbers are entered into an equation that calculates resting energy expenditure (REE) or also known as basal metabolic rate (BMR).
REE or BMR are the calories your body uses to maintain normal functions such as: heart rate, energy for brain function, building new cells, etc.
From this REE figure, activity factors are added taking into account weight, height, age and gender. Moving the body consumes extra energy.
Therefore, those with higher activity levels have higher caloric needs. As age, weight and activity level change, so will your calorie needs.
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Knowing your approximate calorie level per day is a good start, but there are other factors to consider when managing your health and weight.
The quality of calories is just as important as the quantity, and research studies show that what you eat can also affect weight management.
Calories are a way of measuring the energy that comes from food. The body uses energy from food to provide energy to all the body’s cells. One pound is equal to 0 3500 calories.
So in simple words, if you want to lose a pound, you need to reduce your calorie intake to save 3500 calories. For every 3500 you save, you will lose 1 pound.
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Children and teenagers need higher calories because they are growing. As we grow into adulthood, calories need to stabilize because growth stops.
As adults age into old age, calorie needs decrease. This is because the body does not replace body cells as much, and activity levels generally decrease with age. Maintaining a high level of activity throughout adulthood can keep caloric needs high.
This is generally true because men, on the whole, are larger in body size and generally more muscular than women. However, these generalizations may vary.
The biggest factor within our control that affects our calorie needs is our activity level.
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For example, a 50-year-old woman training for an IRONMAN triathlon will have very different calorie needs than a sedentary 50-year-old woman.
Their BMR levels may be very similar, but a woman training for a triathlon has a higher caloric need because she expends more energy swimming, cycling, and running for her workouts.
If one wants to lose weight, the general recommendation is to cut between 250-500 calories from your recommended calorie level.
For example, if your estimated calorie needs are 1,600 calories per day, reducing your intake to 1,100-1,350 calories per day is traditionally recommended for weight loss.
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However, keep in mind, sustainable weight loss requires more than just aiming for fewer calories per day. There is concern that reducing your calorie intake too much can cause weight loss.
In general, a combination of reducing low-nutrient-dense foods (soda, candy, etc.) while increasing high-nutrient-dense foods (fruits, vegetables, lean protein, etc.) is recommended for weight loss.
Exercise not only helps you burn calories, but also keeps your lean muscle mass from being lost during rapid weight loss.
Fitness apps, calorie counters, and weight loss plans generally follow basic guidelines for determining calorie estimates. Take into account your basal metabolic rate, your activity level and the weight you want to lose.
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The Harris-Benedict equation is a common method for obtaining basal metabolic rate (BMR). It takes into account your age, gender, height and weight.
Many fitness websites and apps use this equation, or something similar (such as the Mifflin-St Jeor equation), to get a basic calorie count. From here, you multiply the activity factor depending on the amount of exercise.
The higher your exercise level, the higher the activity factor. Generally sedentary activities of daily living, moderate exercise equals walking approximately 1.5-3 miles per day and actively walking more than 3 miles per day.
People tend to overestimate their fitness factor levels. Make sure you estimate your fitness number correctly as it will affect your accuracy. This gives you an estimate of your body’s calorie needs.
What Does A 1,500 Calorie Day Look Like?
The last part adds the weight loss factor to the equation. Since you want to lose weight, your intake should be less than your requirement. Regardless of the amount your body needs, a common practice is to cut between 250-500 calories per day.
How many calories is that?
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