How many calories to lose weight?
Men and women’s calorie needs are different. Men need more than women. Typically women can do with 2000 calories per day and about 1500 calories to lose one pound of weight each week. Men need about 2500 calories and 2000 to lose one pound of weight each week.
A healthy lifestyle requires one to lose weight if overweight or maintain it through regular exercise. It requires discipline and method. Eating right, training right and doing it consistently has its rewards. The reward comes in the form of a healthy and fit body. Now, just how much calorie should one consume or reduce from the diet to stay on course.
Most of the time, we don’t watch what we eat or calculate how much we consume. If we eat more than what we need, we gain weight. When we consume lesser than what we need, we lose weight, and if we eat about the same as we need, we maintain weight. But it is difficult to measure each time we eat the number of calories we are putting into the mouth.
We can do so for about a week to gain an insight into our eating habits. Based on the amount we arrive at after the watching period is over we can tailor a weight loss program that’s ideal for us. The calculation isn’t easy, and it is more an estimate. But it is important if we want to get the right results from our dieting regime.
Start by calculating the BMR – basal metabolic rate. It is the minimum number of calories the body burns when a rest. This number is required by the body to perform involuntary functions such as breathing, digesting food and regulating body temperature and maintaining the circulation. It gives you the amount you would need if you were to stay in bed the whole day and do nothing.
Different experts have different formulae to calculate the BMR. One such from Feldman’s is 655 + (4.35 x your weight) + (4.7 x your height) – (4.7 x your age). Replace the weight, height, and age with actual figures in pounds, inches and years respectively to arrive at your BMR if you are a woman. The above formula is valid for a woman only.
There is another formula called the Mifflin St. Jeor equation. It’s (10 x weight in kilograms) + (6.25 x height in centimeters) – (5 x age in years) – 161. The results arrived at from each one would vary. But either can be used as a reference to start a plan. The actual method of measuring the BMR is what they do in labs – measure the amount of carbon dioxide you take in and the amount of oxygen you breathe to arrive at the figure that indicates how efficiently your body utilizes calories.
Calculating BMR is the right way of starting a safe weight loss plan. Experts suggest that one’s calorie intake shouldn’t be lower than 1200. If it goes below this, it may affect the muscle mass and a person won’t be able to obtain enough energy to continue daily life activities hampering growth. Eating right is important.
How much activity are you involved in?
Everything we do consumes calorie. Just how one consumes and burns is important to understand how much he should lose. The USDA provides a calculator that takes as input both the activity level and BMR to provide a figure that is indicative of how much you should eat to lose/maintain weight.
How much to lose is arrived at by reducing calories from the above figure. While we may be in a hurry to lose weight, an ideal fat loss program will ask you to lose one to two pounds per week. One pound of fat amounts to 3500 calories. To lose one pound of fat per week, a 500-calorie deficit per day is required. This can be achieved not just by cutting down on the diet but by exercising. However, weight loss is not just about eating less and working out. There are other factors that come into the play – age since metabolism slows with age, your starting weight since people with more weight lose fat faster and lean muscle mass since it helps spur weight loss.
Muscle is important to losing weight
Losing fat and gaining muscle is the right way to reducing weight. As you gain muscle, your BMR will increase. Lean muscle burns more fat than when the body contains more fat. It is more healthier to have lean muscle mass through exercising and its aids weight loss even when the body is at rest.
Calorie count isn’t everything
When eating healthy, calorie is not the only thing you look at. When you are on the way to a weight loss goal, it is easy to fall prey to counting calories all too often, but it doesn’t help. It would be better to focus on counting the empty calories you consume that do not add any value. Cut down on that and read labels when buying food. Just sizing up the portion isn’t enough. Buy a food scale, measure out portions and then arrive at the figure you consume. Remember if you stress out over calories, you might do yourself more harm than good.
Take your focus off the label and gear it towards taking into account what you put into your mouth. Eat fresh and real foods – fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, dry fruits, lean meat, whole grains, and dairy. When you have consumed enough, your body sends signals to stop eating. It is more important to look at these signals and understand that real weight loss is more about eating right and at the right time.
You have all the right ingredients on your plate, they are nutritious, and you have a workout regimen in place but remember to maintain time. Eat at the same time always and try to workout regularly to see the results you want. Don’t lose heart if the weighing scale shows the same figure for days on end.