Losing weight can be a struggle. Especially when you are constantly bombarded with conflicting information about how many calories you should I eat a day. Or shouldn’t.

It’s important to pay close attention to your low carb diet.

The easiest way to achieve weight loss is by pairing a healthy, balanced, calorie reduced diet with exercise. Ok, this sounds like a good plan. But you must wonder : how many calories should I eat a day to lose weight ?

If you want the answer to this “how many calories a day” question, stay connected with us and read the following article. 

 1. But First…What Is A Calorie?

how many calories should I eat a day

A calorie, when speaking in nutritional terms, is a unit of energy used to measure consumption through drinking and eating.

Calories provide our body with the energy that it needs in order to survive. For example, approximately 20% of the energy produced by the calories you consume is necessary for brain metabolism.

Calories are extremely important. Without them, the cells in our body would die.

But how many calories do I need ?

2. How To Calculate Calories For Weight Loss?

how many calories do I need?

Operating under the belief that one pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories, you’ll need a deficit equal to 3,500 calories to lose one pound a week.

To help you, there are many weight loss calculator available to calculate your daily caloric intake. But 2 of the more popular ones are the Katch-McArdle formula, and the Harris-Benedict formula.

The Harris-Benedict calories calculator was first devised in the early twentieth century by J. Arthur Harris and Francis G. Benedict. It’s based solely on body weight. The Katch-McArdle formula, however, takes into account the differences that occur in metabolic activity between body fat and lean body mass.  

You can find weight loss calories calculators online for each of these equations and many more. Most will require you to input your age, weight, height, sex, and average level of activity throughout the week. All of this in the purpose to calculate your calories per day.

In addition to weight loss calories calculators, some websites, such as HealthStatus, have a calculator to determine the amount of exercise time you need to lose one pound.

3. So, How Many Calories Should I Eat To Lose Weight?

How Many Calories Should I Eat To Lose Weight?

There are many factors that determine how many calories do you need per day. There are : size, height, sex, age, your overall health, and lifestyle. Different people will require a different calorie intake each day.

The calories per day requirement can vary from country to country, as well.

The US government recommends that the daily requirement for the average man is approximately 2,700 calories per day. On the other hand, the average woman’s daily requirement is approximately 2,200 calories per day.

Contrary to the standards set in the US, the National Health Service in the UK states that requirement for men is 2,500 calories per day. And the requirement for women is 2,000 calories per day.

Regardless of these recommendations, the reduction in your calories per day to produce weight loss is pretty standard.

Generally speaking, in order to lose one pound a week you need to reduce your calories by five hundred. 

In order to lose 2 pounds in one week, you need to reduce your calories by one thousand.

But how can you know how many calories should you eat a day ? 

4. How To Reduce Your Calories Per Day?

 Calories Per Day

There are many ways that you can reduce your calories per day. The following are six tips to help you in your calories intake for weight loss.

4.1 What To Eat Daily To Lose Weight

How many calories do I need ?

The food you eat when trying to lose weight is extremely important. You need to change your daily calories habits to include healthy and filling foods.

Remove refined flours and sugars from your calories intake for weight loss, as well as chemical preservatives. It’s also prudent to avoid empty calories from foods like sugary soft drinks, donuts, pastries, hot dogs, pizza, and cheese. These foods contain solid fats and added sugars which add calories but no nutritional value. 

Instead, include complex carbohydrates into your daily calories intake. Complex carbs provide your body with energy, aid in your digestion, help your body with brain function and with nervous system function. Furthermore, complex carbs help to increase your metabolic rate which is helpful for weight loss.

In addition to complex carbs, make sure you have lots of fiber rich fruits and vegetables in your weight loss diet. As well as nuts and seeds. These will help you feel full for a longer period of time. And therefore make you less likely to mindlessly snack on unhealthy foods.

Protein is also an important part of a well-balanced dietProtein is what helps your body repair cells and what helps it to make new ones. Every single cell within the human body needs protein.  Luckily, there are a wide variety of foods that contain protein: meat, beans, nuts, seeds, fish and cheese for example.

4.2 What To Drink To Lose Weight

According to the Mayo Clinic it is recommended that men drink roughly 3liters of fluid per day. And that women drink roughly 2 liters of fluids per day.

‘Fluids’ can be any beverage.  However, when trying to lose weight, replace your sports drinks and sugary soft drinks with water.

Let’s say you have one sugary soft drink per day. At 150 calories each, that amounts to over 1000 empty calories per weekIn this scenario, replacing soft drinks with water will create a calorie deficit that will allow for 2 pounds lost.

Furthermore, a study conducted by Virginia Tech demonstrated that drinking a glass of water prior to a meal helps to reduce energy intake. It will help you to feel full sooner, and therefore reduce the number of calories you consume at that meal.

4.3 Exercise More To Lose Calories Per Day

Restricting your calories on the long term slows down your metabolism. The easiest way to combat this is through exercise.

Exercise helps to prevent muscle loss, which is ideal when losing weight because muscle is far more metabolically active.

As such, weight lifting is extremely effective for weight loss. Walking or running is optimal for overall health, as demonstrated in a study published in the American Public Health Association.  

4.4 Eat Breakfast

There is an old adage ‘breakfast like a king, and super like a pauper; turns out, there is some truth behind the saying.

One study conducted by the University of Massachusetts School of Public Health and Sciences demonstrated skipping breakfast correlated with an increased risk of obesity.

A further study conducted at the University Of Utah School Of Medicine also concluded that “eating a healthy breakfast is associated with energy balance and weight control”.

So, eating a well-balanced breakfast with fiber, protein, healthy fats, and low carbs is the ideal way to begin your day. Especially if you’re attempting to lose weight.

4.5 Use a Smaller Plate

A widely publicized study on plate size, conducted by Koert Van Ittersum and Brian Wansink, and published in the Journal of Consumer Research, suggests that people don’t judge their portion sizes based on hunger. But rather on the size of the plate in front of them.

In yet another study conducted by Van Ittersum and Wansink, it’s suggested that most people fill their plates up to be roughly 70% full, regardless of plate size.

Consequently, if you eat in for smaller plates and fill them to 70%, you’ll consume less food than you perceive.

In fact, it’s not only this study that recommends changing out your dinnerware for smaller plates. 3 of the leading health websites on the web – NIH.gov, WebMD, and Medicinenet – also recommend the switch in dinnerware.

4.6 Eat At Home To Reduce Calories

When eating at a restaurant, you’re likely to receive much larger portions than the suggested serving size

Foods, such as a salad, that may appear to be healthy are coated with high fat, high sugar salad dressings. Sugars that are not used by the body for energy shortly after consumption are stored as fat on the body.

In order to avoid the unhealthy foods disguised as healthy foods in restaurant menus, prepare all of your meals at home. You’ll be able to control not only portion sizes, but also all of the ingredients that go in to your meals.

In addition, you’ll be less likely to be tempted by sugary soft drinks on the menu which are also full of empty calories. As stated above, drinking water is ideal for weight loss.

Final Thoughts

how many calories daily to lose weight

Losing weight can be a hard and long journey. But there are little tips and tricks that can help you along the way.

And you, how many calories a day do you need ? Have you tried any of these tricks for reducing your daily calorie intake? Do you have any of your own?

Leave us a comment and let us know what has worked best for you!

How Many Calories Should I Eat A Day: 6 Evidence Based Tips
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