My friends know that I am obsessed with healthy lifestyle and that I keep track of my daily calorie intake and everything else.
And whenever one of my friends decides to lose weight, one of the first questions he/she asks me is “how many calories should I eat”.
What looks like a simple question with a simple answer at first glance, is actually a rather complex question.
First of all, it is not about how many calories you eat, but what you eat. I must stress at the beginning that there are “healthy calories” and “dead calories”.
Some example for “dead calories” would be fast food, bacon, processed sugars and fats.
What you do by consuming food with dead calories is that you eat something, your calorie intake goes high, but you are not feeling full.
After a while, you are hungry again, and you are craving for food.
There are no healthy nutrients in food with “dead calories”.
Now, let’s go to the healthy calories section.
According to most experts and nutritionists, females should consume between 1,500 and 1,800 calories per day, while males need between 2,000 and 2,400 calories per day.
However, that is only half the story.
There are factors that determine how much calories you need per day.
The basic factors are age, height, weight, and gender.
Almost every calculator you can find online will calculate your calorie intake based on those factors.
Sometimes, they are accurate, and I have tried a fair share of them.
But then comes another deciding factor, which is your activity level.
If you are working out, there is simply no way to go through a full, intense workout with your normal daily calorie intake.
Many people mistake losing weight with lowering the calorie intake.
That is the single biggest mistake you can make, as you are depriving your body from healthy nutrients.
The successful formula is to make your body burn more calories, or speed up your metabolism.
But don’t forget, not every metabolism is the same.
In the same way as people are different from one to another (different nose, eyes, ears, facial expressions and everything else), our metabolism is different as well.
Your metabolism can be either slow or fast.
Those with fast metabolism are really blessed.
However, it is a two-edged sword.
Having fast metabolism means you will get hungrier sooner rather than later.
The good news is that with fast metabolism you will also burn more calories.
In order to determine how much calories you should eat, you need to calculate your Basic metabolic rate or BMR.
Simply put, your BMR is the number of calories you are burning when you are doing absolutely nothing and you haven’t ate in the past 12 hours.
There are calculators for BMR online, but the formula is 10 x your weight + 6.25 x your height – 5 x your age + 5 for men, and 10 x your weight + 6.25 x your height – 5 x your age – 161 for women.
It sounds complicated, so using a calculator is the best way to do it.
Next, you need to calculate your total energy expenditure, or TEE.
That is the number of calories you consume each day.
Depending on your activity level, you need to calculate how much calories to intake.
You can do that by multiplying your BMR with a certain number, depending on your activity.
For moderate activity, you need BMR x 1.5, for light activity, you need BMR x 1.3 calories, and for those who are extra active, the number of calories you need to eat is BMR x 1.7.
Before you start thinking about how much weight you can lose, you need to know that the healthy amount is between 1 and 2lbs per week, with one pound the recommended dose.
That would mean that if you are not working out, you need to cut down your calorie intake by 500 per day.
One pound equals 3,500 calories, and divided by seven days a week, that is 500 calories per day.