How many calories should I eat to lose weight? The number of calories you need to consume to lose weight depends on your age, body type, gender, and physical activity level. To achieve weight loss, you need to create a caloric deficit. A caloric deficit is consuming fewer calories needed to burn.
Some people choose the route by consuming fewer calories and some people choose the route of exercising more. And some people choose both which is eating fewer calories and exercising more which is the best approach to weight loss.
The mistakes that most people make when trying to lose weight is they don’t eat enough food. And they think if I don’t eat anything I am going to lose a tremendous of weight. In theory that would make sense but if you don’t eat enough calories than your body will go into starvation method. And your metabolism will slow down tremendously making it more difficult to lose weight.
How many calories should I eat to lose weight? Photo credit: iStock- VladmirFloyd
Many of the popular fad diets has you eating less than 1,200 calories a day which is counterproductive to your weight loss goals. According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans the number of calories women should eat to maintain their weight is:
If you are 19 to 30 years of age- 2,000 to 2400 calories
If you are 31 to 59 years of age- 1,800 to 2,200 calories
If you are 60 years of age- 1,600 to 2,000 calories
These daily maintenance calorie ranges are not in stone because your activity level, how much you weigh, your body type will dictate if these daily calorie ranges are higher or lower.
The number of calories a man should eat to maintain their weight according to the USDA Dietary Guidelines Of America is:
If you are 19 to 30 years of age- 2,400 to 3,000 calories
If you are 31 to 59 years of age- 2,200 to 3,000 calories
If you are 60 years of age- 2,000 to 2,600 calories
So, if you need to lose weight your daily calories will be much lower than these maintenance numbers.
For children the daily maintenance calories are:
2-4 years of age- Male-1000-1600 calories
Female-1000- 1400 calories
5-8 years of age- Male- 1200-2000 calories
Female-1200- 1800 calories
9-13 years of age-Male- 1600-2600 calories
Female- 1400- 2200 calories
14-18 years of age- Male- 2000-3200 calories
When you are trying to lose weight focusing on nutrient dense foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories will help tremendously. Some of those nutrient dense foods are fiber foods like fruits and vegetables. If you eat that in every meal along with drinking water regularly it will make you fuller.
Some of the foods you want to avoid are processed foods such as fast food, packaged snacks, sugary beverages, and candies. One of the best ways to limit your calorie intake is eating more protein, exercising regularly, drinking up to 6 to 8 glasses of water daily, limiting sugary soda beverages and adding more protein in your diet.
If you decrease your calories too much and in an extreme way this is some of the negative symptoms, you can experience such as:
When trying to lose or manage your weight it is best to incorporate a balance diet in your vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in the foods you eat. That will always be the best approach to weight loss and your overall health. A healthy weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week. And if you are consistently doing this then you are doing all the right things exercise and diet wise.
There is no exact science when it comes to calorie counting but you should play with the numbers. Maybe start off at 1600 calories a day if you are a 170-pound woman and start from there. If you are at the same weight two weeks in a row, then you drop down the calories to 1500 calories a day.
Hiring a registered dietitian is always the best approach if you need to lose weight or if you are having troubles with weight management.
“When trying to lose or manage your weight it is best to incorporate a balance diet in your vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in the foods you eat. That will always be the best approach to weight loss and your overall health. A healthy weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike
The Bottom Line is the number of calories per day you need to consume to achieve weight loss will always be predicated on your sex, age, body type, physical activity level.
It is important to remember that diets that are less than a 1000 calories per day will be very counterproductive to your weight loss. This extremity will slow down your metabolism.
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