How Many Calories a Day Should I Eat to Lose Weight?
What you will find...
Its generally accepted that in order to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you eat – its sounds obvious and we wouldn’t want to argue with science.
But if this is all you need to do why do so many people who are following low calorie diets still struggle to lose weight?
The problem for many people is that they consume too few calories, eat them at the wrong times of the day and don’t provide the body with the nutrients it needs to be in a state of natural balance.
When the body is in balance metabolism levels will be high and it will be able to burn fat quickly. When the body is deprived of calories and therefore essential nutrients it goes in to shut down mode and slows down the speed at which it burns calories.
The body also stores fat if you drop your calorie intake too low, rather than releasing it as it fears it may need this fat at a later date to sustain the body if this calorie depletion continues.
Low calorie intake can also cause muscle wastage.
The result = little or no weight loss and over the long term it can affect overall health.
We are sorry if you came here to simply understand how many calories should I eat a day to lose weight, but we know from experience that knowing the answer to this question doesn’t always help you achieve the results you desire.
However we can tell you how to lose weight quickly and keep it off without depriving your body and still being able to eat some of the foods you enjoy.
Remember: Burn Fat – Don’t Starve Your Body
- Are toxins the issue? see below…
- Instead of three main meals, spread calorie intake over 5 smaller meals
- Make sure you eat a decent breakfast which includes lean protein (a good quality meal replacement shake is a good option)
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to flush out toxins and make you feel full for longer
- Eat natural foods that are close to nature – nothing that has been processed, refined or alerted. Avoid products with preservatives, additives, colors and flavorings
- Exercise daily to encourage your metabolism to kick-in and start burning fat
- Don’t starve yourself – you’ll slow down the speed at which you burn fat and will deplete your body
Hopefully this explanation has helped you to understand why its not enough just to have the answer to the question ‘how many calories should I eat a day to lose weight’.
Even though we don’t believe that calorie counting is the answer, we still think its important to know roughly how many calories I should eat a day in order to either lose weight fast or maintain results.
To help give you an idea we’ve linked to a Calorie Calculator, but please note this tool can only provide an estimate based on the information you input and does not take in to account how fast or slow your metabolism is.
Alternatively you can calculate your daily calorie intake using the following methods:
Step 1: Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
Your Basal Metabolic Rate is the the number of calories needed per day to do nothing.
North American BMR Formula
- Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
- Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)
UK/EU BMR Formula
- Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kilos) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)
- Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kilos) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)
Step 2: Active Metabolic Rate (AMR)
Once you have calculated your BMR its time to calculate your Active Metabolic Rate (AMR). AMR estimates the number of calories you need to maintain your weight based on your level of physical activity:
- Sedentary (little or no exercise) – your AMR = BMR x 1.2
- Lightly active (light exercise/work 1-3 days per week) – your AMR = BMR x 1.375
- Moderately active (moderate exercise/work 3-5 days per week) – your AMR = BMR x 1.55
- Very active (hard exercise/work 6-7 days a week) – your AMR = BMR x 1.725
- Extra active (very hard exercise/work 6-7 days a week) – your AMR = BMR x 1.9
Beating a Weight Loss Plateau
Many people start a diet and lose a decent amount of weight in the first few weeks and then hit a plateau which they struggle to get past.
This is because the body has got used to your daily routine and has adjusted your metabolic rate to suit your new diet.
In order to get past this plateau you need to ‘shock your body’.
You can do this by eating the occasional high calorie meal or increase the amount of exercise you are doing to encourage the body to start burning fat again.