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How Many Calories Should You Eat per Day to Lose Weight?

How Many Calories Should You Eat per Day to Lose Weight?


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Calorie – a unit of measurement of the energy value of products. We are talking about the amount of thermal energy that the body produces when digesting food. For its designation, kilocalories (kcal) are traditionally used.

How do scientists calculate the energy value of certain products? They burn them in special devices and measure the amount of heat that is released during this process. Sealed chambers also allow you to measure the heat released by a person so that you can judge the physiological energy value of food.

There are different approaches to weight control. One of the most effective is counting calories. In short, to lose weight, you need to spend more energy than you consume. But how do you know for sure how many calories a day you get and how much you "burn"? This is why the calculation systems have been developed. To calculate the caloric content of the diet, you need to know the weight of each portion, keep a food diary. This may seem difficult and burdensome when you are not used to it, but you will quickly get used to it. Especially since special smartphone apps make the task easier.

Daily calorie allowance for an adult


How many calories you need to consume per day depends on many factors, including age, weight, height, gender, health status, and lifestyle. Physicians have different opinions on the recommended norm of calories. The British national health service is called such figures:

  • 2,500 kilocalories is the average norm for men per day.
  • 2,000 kilocalories is the average norm for women.


One kilocalorie is one thousand calories. These figures reflect the number of calories needed to maintain stable body weight. These figures should not be used if you plan to lose weight, but they are important to take into account to clearly understand your own physiological needs. However, there are other recommendations, for example, American researchers suggest a different norm:

  • 2,700 kcal per day – for men;
  • 2,200 kcal – for women.


At the same time, the UN says that the average person needs a minimum of 1,800 calories per day. Please note that this is the minimum, not the optimal number of calories according to the UN experts ' version. At the same time, the British national health service recommends paying attention not only to the caloric content of food, but also to its quality and variety, and not to neglect physical activity. Israeli scientists insist that a dense Breakfast of up to 700 kcal helps maintain healthy body weight and reduces the risk of developing diabetes.

However, all these figures are approximate. And to calculate how many calories a day you personally need, you will have to use special formulas.

How to calculate your own daily calorie intake


There are several approaches to calculating the optimal caloric intake. Doctors most often recommend the so-called Harris-Benedict equation, which allows you to estimate the basal metabolic rate or BMR, and along with it, the need for energy. Using this formula, you can calculate how many calories you need to keep your weight stable:

  • for adult men: 66.5 + (13.75 × weight in kg) + (5,003 × height in cm) — (6,755 × age);
  • for adult women: 55.1 + (9.563 × weight in kg) + (1,850 × height in cm) — (4,676 × age).

The resulting figure is the number of calories you burn per day at rest. The formula does not take into account physical activity, which must be taken into account, as well as the ratio of fat and muscle tissue. While at the same weight, a person with developed muscles will spend more energy compared to someone who has a significant percentage of weight is adipose tissue.

To take into account the level of physical activity, the figure obtained during calculations must be multiplied by a special coefficient:

  • 1,2 – sedentary lifestyle.
  • 1,375-light physical exercises 1-3 times a week.
  • 1.55-moderate exercise 1-3 times a week.
  • 1,725-intense exercise 6-7 times a week.
  • 1,9-heavy training twice a day.


Only after multiplying the BMR by the coefficient, we get an approximate number of calories that you should consume per day to keep your body weight unchanged. Keep in mind that getting too involved in reducing your caloric intake is dangerous for your health because about 20% of all energy is consumed by the brain. A lot of calories are also required to maintain the functioning of internal organs and systems.

However, there is another approach to caloric intake. Some doctors offer such averaged numbers of daily energy requirements:

  • For women leading a sedentary lifestyle: 2000 kcal-at the age of 19-25 years, 1800 kcal-26-50 years, 1600 kcal-over 50 years.
  • For ladies who perform light physical exercises up to three times a week: 2200 kcal-at the age of 19-50 years, 1800 kcal-over 50 years.
  • For ladies leading an active lifestyle, regularly engaged in sports: 2400 kcal-at the age of 19-25 years, 2200 kcal - from 25 to 50 years, 1800 kcal-over 50 years.
  • For men who lead a sedentary lifestyle: 2400 kcal-at the age of 19-30 years, 2200 kcal - from 31 to 50 years, 2000 kcal-over fifty.
  • With moderate physical activity: 2600 kcal-at the age of 19 to 30 years, 2400 kcal - from 31 to 50 years, 2200-older than 51 years.
  • In an active lifestyle: 3000 kcal-from 19 to 30 years, 2800 kcal - from 31 to 50 years, 2400 kcal-over 51 years.


Calculating the number of calories for weight loss


To lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you consume. To understand exactly how many calories should be in the daily diet, it is not difficult: you need to reduce the energy value of food. If you exercise at least a few times a week, but regularly, it is enough to reduce the caloric content of the diet by 10%. That is if you have calculated that your physiological norm, taking into account your lifestyle, is 1800 calories, then to lose weight, you need to cut your daily diet to 1680 kcal.

If you lead a sedentary lifestyle and exercise is an exception to the rule, you will have to take away 20% of the calories from the daily menu. Then at a physiological rate of 1800 kcal, you will need to eat only 1440 kcal per day to lose weight.

Drastic reduction of the diet by more than 20% creates health risks. But if you are obese and have a tendency to overeat, your doctor may recommend cutting your diet by 40%. But not from the physiological norm, but from the number of calories that you are used to eating every day.


An easy way to balance your diet for weight loss


Calculating caloric intake requires habits and knowledge of the energy value of different foods. It is important not only to adhere to the daily norm but also not to forget about the quality of products. Because 500 kcal of fresh vegetables is healthier than 500 kcal of sweets and fast food. You don't have to weigh your own food and prepare a weekly menu: we offer a ready-made balanced diet for the number of calories you need. It is not only healthy but also delicious, which means that there will be no temptation to eat too high-calorie foods.

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