Calorie Intake to Lose Weight

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Calorie Intake to Lose Weight

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Learn how many calories you should eat a day to lose weight.

The best way to calculate your daily calorie requirement for weight maintenance is to use the Harris-Benedict or Mifflin-St. Jeor formulas (plus an activity factor). These mathematical equations incorporate gender, age, height and weight to ensure an accurate estimation. Losing weight requires taking in fewer calories than you expend, while gaining weight requires taking in more calories than you expend.

What is daily calorie deficit?

A calorie deficit occurs when the amount of food (energy) you take in is less than the total calories you need/use daily for weight maintenance. You need to create a calorie deficit, and sustain it over time in order to lose weight.

How many calories should I eat a day to lose weight?

Physical activity (aerobic exercise and/or weight training) plays an important role in weight loss. In general, to lose 1 lb in one week, you need to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories. This may be broken up throughout the seven days in a week (500 calories per day). You may also create a calorie deficit to lose weight by increasing expenditure through engaging in more vigorous and frequent physical activity.

How many calories should I eat a day to lose 2 pounds a week?

To lose weight, you must expend more calories each day than you require for weight maintenance, creating that all-important calorie deficit. Losing 2 lbs in one week requires a deficit of 7,000 calories or 1,000 each day for seven days. That is a significant amount, and keep in mind that you should never choose a calorie level below your Basal Metabolic Rate. Doing so will result in fatigue, possible nutrient deficiencies and may even backfire, causing your BMR to decrease so you will burn fewer calories while at rest. The woman in the example may choose to take in 1,450 calories daily paired with a more vigorous exercise routine to burn an additional 400, creating a 1,000 calorie per day deficit.

According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), if you weigh 142 lbs you will burn 107 calories every 10 minutes running at a pace of 6 mph. A 40-minute run burns 429 calories. If you finish your workout with 20 minutes of calisthenics, you will expend an additional 75, burning a total of 504 calories. However, you can and should vary your workout routine. Swim at a casual pace for 30 minutes and you will burn about 225 calories. Pair that with a 30-minute brisk walk, perhaps later in the day, and expend an additional 162, or 387 total calories. You may burn more calories one day and fewer another day as long as the total weekly deficit reaches about 7,000 calories.

How many calories should I eat a day to lose weight with exercise?

Your calorie level for losing weight, with exercise, depends greatly on the type, frequency, intensity and duration of the exercise. You still need to create a 500-calorie daily deficit to lose 1 lb per week and 1,000 to lose 2 lbs per week. While vigorous exercise burns calories, you must eat enough food to provide you with the energy to perform the exercise.

On the contrary, do not assume that workouts torch enough calories for you to eat anything you wish. Expert advice varies; however, the best way to lose weight and keep it off is by eating less and exercising more, and doing so consistently. After calculating your energy (calorie) needs for weight maintenance, trim at least 250 calories from that number. Pair that with 1 hour, five times per week (at minimum) of exercise. The ideal program combines aerobics and resistance training to build muscle as well as stretching for flexibility. Choose activities that burn the most calories.




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