How many calories should I eat to lose weight?
Weight loss is on the minds of anyone looking to become healthier—which is just about everyone. There are countless tips, tricks, and fad diets that come and go oftentimes leaving their practitioners with the same amount of weight (or more!) as when they found them. The key to effective and long term weight loss is simple: measure it. To have more of an impact on feeling better and getting to where we want to be, we must first look at where we are now. This will give us a reference point to measure our progress toward our goals.
It all comes down to a simple question: how many calories should I eat to lose weight?
To begin with, a calorie is a measurement of heat energy. This is an effective way to measure how much energy our body expends because it produces a lot of heat energy. One calorie is equivalent to the amount of energy it would take to heat one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius. In order to stay alive and healthy, we need to maintain a certain amount of caloric intake. What tends to happen is that we will maintain the same weight when we achieve this minimal amount of caloric intake.
This essential level of caloric intake is called the basal metabolic rate or BMR. It does not account for the fact that you will be exercising or even just moving around. So, to calculate a more realistic picture of how many calories we should eat to lose weight, we will need to adjust the BMR for more realistic world conditions. To do this, we must factor in the level of activity that we do and try to discern how many calories those activities consume.
There are three formulas that can be used to determine the BMR. The first is the Mifflin – St. Jeor formula. It is considered the present standard among the three common ones and involves a calculation of weight, height, age and other factors. The second formula is the Katch – McArdle formula. It is used to predict Resting Daily Energy Expenditure or RDEE which closely matches BMR. You can also derive the percentage of body fat from this formula. The final formula is the Harris – Benedict which came out in 1918. It is the crudest of the three.
Now, these calculations are important in ultimately understanding how many calories we should eat to lose weight, but they may be cumbersome in practice and take too much time. The beauty is that there are accurate calculators available to you, that so all the work for you to make very precise calculations:
This calorie calculator is a wonderful tool to quickly do the math that would otherwise be time consuming. To calculate your body fat using the Katch-McArdle formula you can also use the calculator provided here: http://loseweightfeelgreatnow.com/body-fat-calculator/.
Using the great tools above, you will be able to calculate your BMR. Once you have that number, you now have the goal you need to aim for! There are two ways to approach your weight loss numerical goal. The first is that you can use the calculators to find your number and then figure out how much you would like to start losing by slowly working your caloric intake back towards that number. When you start reducing your calories, you will quickly come to see that your weight decreases. And you can moderate the pace of that change by how high or low you set your target based on the calculations.
Additionally, you can use your number as a standard and combine it with your desired amount of weight you want to lose (some people want to lose enough weight to look a specific way, while others know the specific amount of weight they want to lose to look a certain way). One pound of weight is about 3,500 calories. Knowing this, you can then calculate how much you will need to lose within a given time frame. The wonderful news is that the calculator does this for you.
If all these numbers make you cringe, don’t worry! You are in good company. Many people are thrown off from their dietary goals because of the sheer amount of number work involved. It makes sense because there are whole fields of science dedicated to this and most of us are not scientists. To aid us through the numbers to the useful and actionable result this calculator http://loseweightfeelgreatnow.com/weight-loss-calculator/ will help us all discern how many calories we should eat to lose weight.
It is not enough to simply know how many calories you need to eat to lose weight though, you also have to know what kind of food to eat. Different foods have varying benefits and drawbacks. This enters into a much wider topic, but to go into that topic as an informed dieter, it pays to know how many macronutrients you will need. This calculator here http://loseweightfeelgreatnow.com/macronutrient-calculator/ will use your figures from the caloric calculations to help you know how many of each vital macronutrient you will need. This is critical because these calculations solve the two first and major stumbling blocks for dieters. First, it gives a simple and easy way to figure out a healthy amount of calories to consume to hit your weight loss goals and then it tells you how much of each critical macronutrient you will need. With both these calculations you will have what 95% of would-be dieters don’t—hard and real facts to take with them on their journey.