How many calories should I eat to lose weight, have you ever asked yourself this question? If you have then read my article below. Furthermore i’ll breakdown how much calories you should eat to start dropping stubborn body fat.
What are calories?
First and foremost a calorie is a unit of energy. In weight loss terms this usually refers to the energy consumption through eating or drinking. The human body needs calories to survive which is acquired though food and drinks. Without adequate calorie consumption all bodily functions will stop functioning. Before asking yourself how much calories should I eat to lose weight, you must understand the breakdown of calories through the numbers.
The number of calories in food is usually calculated through three different macro nutrients. They are:
- Protein which contains 4 calories per gram
- Carbohydrate which contains 4 calories per gram
- Fat which contains 9 calories per gram
Let’s look at where the calories where one serving of an Oreo chip cookie comes from:
- Protein 2.6 grams
4 x 2.6 = 10.4 calories
- Carbohydrate 8.5 grams
4 x 8.5 = 34 calories
- Fat 7.9 grams
9 x 7.9 = 71.1 calories
- Total calories of a single Oreo chip cookie would be:
10.4 + 34 + 71.1 = Roughly 115 calories per serving
How Many Calories Should I Eat to Lose Weight
Everyone is different so their is no exact number I can give you. Several factors including frequency of physical activity, sex, ethnicity and height all determine your caloric intake to lose weight (1). A 6 foot tall basketball player needs more calories to maintain bodily functions compared with an 40 year old man who sits at home all day. Before we go further you must understand what Basal metabolic rate means.
What is Basal metabolic rate?
To answer your question “How many calories should I eat to lose weight”, we must first address the term BMR. Basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories your body burns in an neutral environment while you do nothing for 24 hours. For example, lets say your basal metabolic rate is 1500. This means on average your body burns around 1500 calories per day. Eat under this amount and you will lose weight and vice versa.
So lets say your goal is to lose a pound per week and you calculated your basal metabolic rate to be 1800. One pound is roughly 3500 calories. So you would have to eat 1300 calories per day just to lose one pound a week. The math is simple:
- 500 x 7 (days in a week) = 3500 calories
- 1800 (Basal metabolic rate) – 500 = 1300 calories
- You would need to consume 1300 calories daily just to lose one pound per week
Usually you will lose more due to external factors such as water weight or bloating from consuming to much sodium. Even so, if you follow what i have written in this article then you will lose weight in the long run.
What Weight Loss Calorie Calculator Should I Use
There are hundreds of calculators you can find online to calculate your BMR. The key here is to use the best calculators and use the average between these numbers. A bit of trail and error goes into this process. For an whole week straight if you ate 1700 calories and maintain weight, then you can assume your BMR would be much lower. So for your second week you can try eating 1500 calories and see what happens. Eventually you should get it right.
Also as you age your BMR tends to naturally drop which makes it harder to lose weight. In this scenario you just have to adjust accordingly and things will work out. Below I will list my top three calculators you can start using online:
- Bodybuilding.com: My personal favorite calculator and probably the most accurate. The number you get is calculated through the Harris Benedict equation.
- Thecalculatorsite: Also uses the Harris Benedict equation but allows you to enter your activity level in. If you workout consistently or have a physical demanding job then this is the calculator for you.
- Myfitnesspal: A fairy accurate calculator from an reputable site. Will give you a good starting point and is fairly comparable with the other calculators.
How many calories should I eat to lose weight, I have asked myself this question many times when I first started dieting. Today I can eat 1700 calories and lose one pound per week. It took 2-4 weeks of trial and error just to find my magic number.
Weight Loss Calorie Calculator Conclusion
Now that I armed you with the correct knowledge, its time for you to start losing weight! So that begs the question, what is the amount of calories you must consume daily to lose weight? If you feel overwhelmed at the amount of information that I provided, feel free to drop a comment below and I will reply as soon as possible.
So how many calories should I eat to lose weight? In any case, feel free to post your own answers below!
How Many Calories Should I Eat to Lose Weight