How Many Calories Should You Consume Daily ?
Here is a basic but reliable scientific calorie calculator, as well as five evidence-based tips for reducing your calorie intake over time.
Fill in your information in the calculator below to estimate how many calories you should consume per day to maintain or lose weight.
The calculator is based on the Mifflin-St Jeor equation, which has been shown in various studies to be a reliable method of estimating calorie requirements.
What Exactly Are Calories ?
A calorie is a unit of energy measurement. Calories are a unit of measurement for the amount of calories in foods and beverages. To lose weight, you must consume less calories per day than you burn.
How Many Calories Do You Need To Consume Daily ?
The response to this question is determined by a number of factors, including your age, height, your weight, level of exercise, and metabolic health, among others.
A general rule of thumb when attempting to lose weight is to eat 500 fewer calories than your body needs to sustain your current weight. This will assist you in losing approximately 1 pound (0.45 kg) of body weight each week.
The average calorie ranges that take these factors into account are described below.
To control his weight, a slightly active man between the ages of 26 and 45 requires 2,600 calories per day, and 2,100 calories per day to lose 1 (0.45 kg) pound per week.
Active men who walk more than 3 miles a day can need 2,800–3,000 calories per day to keep the same weight and 2,300–2,500 calories per day to lose 1 pound (0.45 kg) per week.
Young men between the ages of 19 and 25 have higher energy requirements. To maintain their weight, they need an average of 2,800 calories a day, and up to 3,000 if they’re involved. Moderately active young men can eat 2,300–2,500 calories a day to lose one pound (0.45 kg) per week.
As men get older, their energy requirements decrease. Slightly active men between the ages of 46 and 65 need an average of 2,400 calories per day. The average man’s calorie requirements drop to about 2,200 calories per day after 66 years.
To control her weight, a slightly active woman between the ages of 26 and 50 requires about 2,000 calories a day, and 1,500 calories a day to lose 1 pound (0.45 kg) a week.
Women who are physically active and walk more than 3 miles a day should consume at least 2,200 calories per day to maintain their weight and at least 1,700 calories a week to lose 1 pound (0.45 kg).
Women in their early twenties have higher calorie requirements. To stay in shape, they need about 2,200 calories a day.
Women over the age of 50 have a lower caloric requirement. To maintain her weight, the average slightly active woman over 50 requires 1,800 calories a day, and 1,300 calories a day to lose 1 pound (0.45 kg) a week.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding have significantly higher calorie requirements, so these figures do not apply to them.
Children’s calorie requirements vary greatly depending on their age, size, and level of activity.
The average slightly active teens needs 2,000–2,800 calories a day, whereas the average toddler needs 1,200–1,400 calories a day. Even more is required of active adolescent boys.
Calorie counting is usually unnecessary for children who are growing and developing normally and who participate in regular physical activity. When given a variety of healthy food options, most slightly active children eat the amount of food their bodies require.
Calorie Counting To Lose Weight
Calorie counting with the aim of losing weight, at its easiest levels, can be separated into a few general steps :
- Use one of the provided equations to calculate your BMR. The Katch-McArdle Formula may be a more accurate representation of your BMR if you know your body fat percentage. Remember that the results of these equations are estimations, and that subtracting 500 calories from your BMR will not certainly end in 1 pound loosing a week – it could be less or more!
- Establish your weight-loss objectives. Remember that 1 pound (0.455 kg) equals approximately 3500 calories, so cutting daily caloric intake by 500 calories below estimated BMR a day will theoretically result in a weekly weight loss of 1 pound. It’s generally not a good idea to lose more than 2 pounds per week because it can have negative health consequences; instead, aim for a daily calorie reduction of around 1000 calories. If you plan to lose more than 2 pounds per week, you should visit your doctor or a registered dietician nutritionist (RDN).
- Decide on a method for keeping track of your calories and progress toward your objectives. If you have a mobile device, there are a wide range of simple-to-use apps that help you track calories, exercise, and progress, among other things. That several, if not all, of these have calorie approximations for several brand-name foods or restaurant meals, and if they don’t, they can evaluate calories determined by the amount of personal food components.It can be hard to get a good understanding on food compositions and calorie content, which is why calorie counting (or any other approach) isn’t for everyone. However, if you meticulously calculate and log the amount of calories in some of your favorite meals, it becomes much easier to estimate calorie content without having to weigh or measure your food each time. There are websites that can assist with this as well, but if you prefer, manually establishing an excel spreadsheet or perhaps a pen and paper journal are both viable options.
- Track your overall progress and, if required, make adjustments to help achieve your objectives. Know that weight loss isn’t the only thing to consider when it comes to health and fitness; you can also consider fat vs. muscle loss/gain. Also, rather than taking measurements regularly, it is suggested that measurements be taken over extended amounts of time, such as a week, because major weight fluctuations can occur simply due to water consumption or time of day. It’s also easier to take measurements under stable conditions like weighing yourself first thing in the morning and before breakfast, rather than at random times during the day.
The measures outlined above are an experiment at calorie counting at its most basic level. Calorie counting isn’t an absolute science, and you can make it as difficult as you want. The above does not take into account the macronutrient amounts consumed. Although there is no exact ratio of macronutrients (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates) that is best for health, various foods have been shown to have different effects on health, appetite, and the amount of calories burned. Plant and animal foods that have been minimally processed appear to be more beneficial to safe weight loss and maintenance.
There are several ways to lose weight, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution that works for all, that’s why there are so many various diets and exercise regimens. Although some methods are more successful for each person, not all weight loss strategies are created equal, and studies show that some are healthier than others. Counting calories is, however, one of the most common and efficient weight loss techniques. Calories consumed minus calories expended results in weight gain if the result is positive or weight loss if the result is negative in the most simple form.However, this is by no means a full picture, as many other factors influence safe, long-term weight loss. Inconsistent studies occur, for example, about whether the type of calories or foods eaten, or how they are consumed, influences weight loss. According to research, foods that require more chewing and are more difficult to digest allow the body to burn more calories, a phenomenon known as the thermic effect of food. While the increase in calories burned may be small, more difficult-to-digest foods, like vegetables, are typically healthier and offer more nutrients for less calories than many processed foods.
In line with the assumption that only net calories, not their source, matter when it comes to weight loss, there are cases like the Twinkie diet, in which a person who solely counted calories while consuming a variety of cake snacks lost 27 pounds in two months. This, as useful as it may be, is not recommended. Although the participant did not seem to experience any obvious health risks in this situation, there are other, less observable variables to consider, such as the long-term impact of such a diet on the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Regardless of productivity or wellbeing, a sustained, substantial reduction in caloric consumption or an increase in physical activity can help with weight loss, and counting calories can be an efficient way to accomplish this sole goal.
Calorie counting, in addition to being a viable tool for promoting weight loss, has other, less quantifiable benefits, such as growing nutritional awareness. Many people are entirely unsure of their daily caloric intake or greatly neglect it. Counting calories can help people become more conscious of various types of foods, how many calories they contain, and how these calories influence their feelings of satiety.Portion control and avoiding foods with empty calories become simpler if a person knows how many calories are actually in that bag of chips that they can inhale in minutes, how much of their daily caloric intake it absorbs, and how little the chips do to relieve their appetite.
Real caloric measures may also aid with weight loss because calorie targets can be set instead of only trying to consume less. Also, while not specifically linked to calorie counting, research have shown that actually eating from a smaller plate will help minimize calorie consumption, as people prefer to fill their plates and consume all on them. Many people are unaware that they are overeating because they have become addicted to restaurant-sized meals, which may be three or more times larger than what is expected for a regular meal.
Calorie tracking often brings exercise into context, growing a person’s knowledge of how much exercise is actually needed to burn off a 220-calorie bag of M&M’s. When a comparison is made to the amount of exercise that a snack equates to, many people find that avoiding the bag of chips is preferable to doing an equal amount of exercise, which can lead to healthy eating habits.
As a result, what matters is that you choose a strategy that works for you. Calorie counting is only one of many strategies for losing weight, and even within this process, there are many different approaches an individual may take. Finding a solution that suits your lifestyle and that you believe you will be able to stick to is likely to be the most sustainable choice and have the most favorable outcome.
What Is ZigZag Calorie Cycling And Does It Work ?
Zigzag calorie cycling is a weight loss strategy that aims to work against the body’s natural adaptive behaviours. While counting and limiting calories, as mentioned above, is a viable strategy for losing weight, the body may adjust to the lower amount of calories consumed over time. When this happens, you may hit a weight-loss plateau that is difficult to break through. By preventing the body from adjusting to the lower calorie climate, zigzag calorie cycling may benefit.
Calorie cycling in a zigzag pattern involves varying the number of calories consumed on a daily basis. To reach the same total weekly calorie target, an individual on a zigzag diet should have a variety of high and low-calorie days. For example, if your weekly calorie goal is 14,000, you could eat 2,300 calories three days per week and 1,775 calories the other four days, or you could eat 2,000 calories every day. The body would not adapt and compensate for a 2,000-calorie diet in either case, despite the fact that 14,000 calories would be consumed over the course of the week in both situations. This also gives an individual more diet flexibility, allowing them to plan around events like work or family gatherings, when they may consume more calories. Eating fewer calories on other days allows an individual to enjoy these gatherings or even have a “cheat day” where they can eat anything they want without feeling guilty because their low-calorie days will make up for the extra calories.
There’s no solid rule or study that lays out the best way to alternate or spread calorie consumption. It’s largely up to you how you vary your calorie intake. It is usually suggested that the high-calorie and low-calorie days differ by 200-300 calories, vary based on a person’s activity, with the high-calorie day being the amount of calories a person needs to maintain their current weight. The calorie difference should be greater for someone who exercises more. Two zigzag diet schedules are presented by the calculator. The first schedule has two days with higher calories and five days with lower calories. The second schedule gradually increases and decreases the number of calories consumed. The total weekly caloric intake is the same in both cases.
As a result, it doesn’t matter which technique you use to lose weight; what matters is that you find a plan that helps for you. Calorie counting and zigzag calorie cycling are two of several weight-loss methods (that are somewhat interrelated), and even within these techniques, there are many different strategies a person can take. Finding an approach that fits your lifestyle and that you think you’ll be able to stick to will likely yield the most long-term and desirable results.
Are All The Calories The Same ?
Carbohydrates, proteins, and fat are the major sources of calories in a common normal diet, with alcohol accounting for a large portion of calorie consumption for many people. According to some studies, the calories listed on nutrition labels and the calories consumed and retained can differ significantly. This demonstrates the complexities of calories and nutrition, which explains why there are so many differing viewpoints on the “best” weight-loss method. For instance, how a person chews their food has been shown to have a small impact on weight loss; generally speaking, chewing food more thoroughly increases the number of calories burned during digestion. People who chew their food for longer periods of time eat less because it takes longer to reach a state of satiety, so they eat less. However, the effects of how food is chewed and how different foods are digested are not totally understood, and other factors may exist, so this information should be taken with a grain of salt.
Fruit, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and other foods that require more effort to chew need the body to burn more calories because more calories are needed to digest them. It also makes you feel satiated for longer periods of time. Furthermore, the ingredients in certain foods such as coffee, tea, chilies, cinnamon, and ginger have been known to increase the amount of calories burned.
It’s also necessary to understand the “efficiency” of calories consumed. In terms of calories, foods are classified into many groups. High-calorie foods, low-calorie foods, and empty calories all fall into this group. High-calorie foods are calorically rich, meaning they have a large number of calories per unit of serving size, while low-calorie foods have a smaller number of calories per unit of serving size. High-calorie foods include fats, oils, fried foods, and sugary foods, to name a few.High-calorie products, such as avocados, quinoa, almonds, and whole grains, are all high-calorie foods that are considered nutritious when eaten in moderation. Low-calorie products contain, among other things, vegetables and some fruits, while empty calories, such as those contained in added sugars and solid fats, are calories with little to no nutrients. There is a measurable difference between eating 500 calories of carrots versus 500 calories of popcorn, according to studies. This can be due in part to variations in how foods are eaten and processed, as previously described.Carrots necessitate a lot of chewing, which means more calories are burned during digestion. Again, the reason for these variations isn’t well known, but it’s worth remembering that the general rule of calories in minus calories out for measuring weight gain or loss holds true for weight loss, but that the amount of calories reported on a nutrition label isn’t always representative of how many calories the body actually retains.Although there is no clear-cut or optimal amount of macronutrient proportions that a person should consume in order to maintain a balanced diet or lose weight, consuming a “healthy” diet rich in unprocessed foods like vegetables, fruits, and lean meats is connected to being healthier and more likely to result in long-term weight loss. Also bear in mind that drinks account for about 21% of an average person’s calorie intake. Empty calories account for a significant portion of these calories. Though sodas are the obvious culprits, other beverages with high sugar content, such as juices and even milk, should be consumed in moderation to avoid negating their nutritional benefits.To avoid gaining calories from beverages, a person should drink water, tea, or coffee without adding sugar.
Note that all foods, including “balanced foods,” should be eaten in moderation, and that distinctions can be deceiving because even natural foods like fruits can contain a lot of sugar, and foods classified as “good foods” like low-calorie foods, reduced-fat foods, and so on can potentially replace one unhealthy part with another. To compensate for the taste loss due to fat reduction, many reduced-fat foods have a lot of sugar added to them. It’s important to pay attention to and consider the various components in a food product when determining whether or not it should be included in your diet.
How To Control And Decrease Daily Calorie Intake ?
Calories are literally a unit of energy calculation. You must eat more calories than you lose to gain weight. Conversely, if you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight.
Cutting calories without considering what you consume is typically not a long-term option for weight loss. Choosing nutrient-dense foods over nutrient-poor foods, for example, can help your health more.
Though it will work for others, the majority of people become hungry and ultimately return to their old habits.
As a result, it’s strongly recommended that you make a few other long-term adjustments to help you manage a calorie deficit without feeling hungry.
The evidence-based eating and lifestyle changes listed below have been shown to aid weight loss.
Focus On Protein
Protein is the best nutrient when it comes to weight loss.
Having protein in your diet is an easy and efficient way to shed pounds with little effort.
Protein raises your metabolic rate while also helping to curb your appetite, according to reports.
A high protein diet will increase the amount of calories you burn by 80–100 calories per day because protein takes energy to metabolize.
Protein will make you feel fuller for longer and eat less calories during the day. According to an older study, people who consumed 30% of their calories from protein consumed 441 fewer calories per day.
In other words, actually adding protein to your diet would increase the amount of calories you burn while decreasing the number of calories you eat. Protein can also assist in the reduction of cravings.
Eating 25% of daily calories from protein decreased intrusive thoughts about food by 60% and the tendency to snack late at night by 50%, according to a 2011 report.
Try increasing your protein intake if you want to lose weight steadily with minimal effort.
It has the ability to not only aid weight loss but also to avoid or minimize weight regain.
Stay Away From Sugar-Filled Drinks
Avoiding liquid sugar calories from your diet is another relatively straightforward improvement you can make.
Sodas, fruit juices, chocolate milk, and other sugary drinks fall under this category.
Liquid calories are not registered by brain in the same way as solid calories are.
As a result, consuming sugary soda does not cause your brain to compensate by making you consume smaller quantities of other foods.
Sugary drinks have been linked to an increased risk of obesity in children, with one study finding a 60 percent increased risk for each daily serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage.
Sugar’s detrimental consequences extend beyond weight gain. It can have a detrimental impact on metabolic health and increase the risk of a number of diseases.
Drinking fruit juice or other sweetened drinks has the same harmful effects as consuming fruit, which also contains fiber and other essential nutrients. Huge quantities of added sugar and sugary beverages, on the other hand, can be detrimental to your health in a number of ways.
These drinks are not physiologically necessary, and the long-term benefits of avoiding them can be immense.
Be Hydrated !
Drinking more water is an easy way to help you lose weight.
According to research, drinking water will increase your calorie burn for up to 90 minutes.
Drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water (2 liters) a day will help you burn 96 calories more per day.
However, recent research indicates that drinking water does not improve the calorie burn.
It’s conceivable that the timing of when you drink water is even more critical. Drinking water right before a meal will make you feel fuller and consume less calories.
People who drank 17 ounces (0.5 liters) of water half an hour before meals lost 44 percent more weight in a 12-week trial.
If you need to lose weight, drinking more water, particularly before meals, appears to be beneficial when combined with a healthy diet.
Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and green tea, can also help to speed up metabolism in the short term. This has been related to weight loss and maintenance.
If you are still curious about weight loss by drinking water and want to get more information, you can read our How To Lose Weight By Drinking Water article to find answers to your questions such as whether to lose weight by drinking water, how to lose weight by drinking water, how much water should I drink to lose weight.
Do Exercise And Weightlifting !
When you consume less calories, the body compensates by conserving fat, resulting in lower calorie consumption.
This is why calorie restriction over a prolonged period of time will drastically slow down your metabolism.
It may also result in a loss of muscle mass. Since muscle burns calories, it slows down your metabolism even further.
Exercising your muscles by lifting weights is the only known way to avoid this effect.
This has been shown time and time again to avoid muscle failure and slowing of the metabolism during long-term calorie restriction.
In addition to losing fat, it’s important to preserve or improve the muscles while trying to lose weight.
If you can’t make it to the gym, try doing bodyweight exercises at home, such as pushups, squats, and situps.
Cardio exercise, such as cycling, swimming, or jogging, can be helpful not only for weight loss but also for overall health and well-being.
In addition to weight loss, exercise has a range of other advantages, including improved longevity and energy levels, a reduced risk of illness, and just feeling better every day.
Avoid Refined Carbs
Cutting carbohydrates is a perfect way to lose weight because it suppresses your appetite and allows you to consume less calories.
According to research, eating a low carb diet until you’re complete will help you lose two to three times as much weight as a calorie-restricted, low fat diet.
Low-carb diets can have a slew of other health benefits, especially for people with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
You don’t have to go low carb, though. Simply concentrate on whole, single-ingredient foods and consume high-quality, fiber-rich carb sources.
The precise composition of your diet becomes less important if you stick to whole foods.
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