Calories Needed to Lose Weight
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How many calories you do you need to lose weight every today? I’m going to try to be as clear but as elaborate as possible in answering that question.
Short answer: less than you’re currently consuming.
Look, it’s no secret that I believe wholeheartedly that counting calories is the best way to lose weight. Counting calories is the easiest and least restrictive way to lose weight. If you eat less this month than you did last month, you’ll lose weight. You just have to track what you’re eating to make sure of it.
That’s called counting calories.
Long answer: the amount of calories you need every day depends on a variety of factors, such as your height, weight, activity level, metabolism, etc.
Even though it’s a long answer, I’m going to simplify it for you. Below is a chart of the amount of calories you need (just estimate if your height/weight is out of chart’s range) depending on your sex/height/weight. Information found on this chart is courtesy of calorie counter MyFitnessPal.
Daily calories for men (top row is your current weight, left column is age):
Daily calories for women (top row is current weight, left column is age):
(This chart is factored for someone 6’0″ — if you’re 4 inches shorter/taller, subtract/add 50 calories from your daily calorie allowance.)
So, if you’re a 42-year old man and weigh 330 pounds, you should start trying to lose weight by eating about 2,400 calories a day. If you’re a woman that is 24-years old and weighs 187 pounds, you’d start by eating 1,650 calories.
But, there’s one important thing to take into consideration.
The figures found on the chart and at MyFitnessPal are estimates as to how many calories you would need to eat every day to maintain your weight if you just sat in bed 24/7. That’s very important to note. Obviously, we all move around every day, even on the laziest of days and still burn calories, meaning the above figures are absolutely, positively minimum requirements. If you add a 30-minute workout to your day, or two hours of yard work, or a marathon, you can “afford” and should have more calories that day.
Count calories, be as active as possible, and you’ll lose weight.
The bottom line, whether you’re certain of how many calories you need every day or not, is to simply pick a number of calories to eat daily and stick with that many calories for 15 days. Don’t get caught up or obsessive in being extremely accurate or precise trying to figure out how many calories you need. The most important thing is that you just start trying to lose weight by making changes. That means eating X amount of calories (1,800, 2,000, whatever you think) for 15 days. If after those 15 days you don’t lose a single pound, try lowering the amount of calories you eat every day by 200 calories or so and repeating at that amount of calories for another 15 days.
Now, if you DO find that by eating X (1,600, 1900, etc) calories a day you lost at least a pound after 15 days, then stick with that many calories every day.
Remember though, drastically less doesn’t mean better — don’t think you can drop down to 800 calories a day and lose all the weight in the world. Too low, and I personally would define too low as lower than 1,400, is dangerous and will be counterproductive. Getting that low is not recommended unless you’re told otherwise by a professional (ie, by people who know things). Besides, it’s also probably unnecessary. You can still eat plenty of food, good tasting food at that and some junk food occasionally, and still lose weight. I did.
That’s what I love about counting calories.
And, just to re-iterate, this is what I did. It worked for me. I’m not giving you medical advice as that would be silly on my part. I’m not a doctor and I wouldn’t even play a good one on television.
Have questions? How many calories do you consume on a daily basis?