How many calories to eat to lose weight
If your goal is to lose fat, you know that calories play a key role.
It is through the calorie balance that you can gain, maintain or lose weight.
No matter how much you train, if you stay in excess calorie, your adventure in the gym will not run smoothly.
And no, it is not because you use only theoretically healthy foods that you will lose weight.
In addition, the goal is not just to lose weight, but fat, and therefore, knowing the number of calories you need is even more important to achieve good results.
So, let's get started.
First of all, you need to calculate your basal metabolism.
What is this?
Basal metabolism is the calories your body usesonly to keep up and running.
Even if you spend the day sleeping, your body needs calories to function.
To do this calculation, we will use the Mifflin-St Jeor equation.
Calculate basal metabolism
There are differences in the calculation of basal metabolism between men and women, so we are going to present both equations.
The formulas are as follows.
(10 x Body weight) + (6.25 x Height) ? (5 x Age) + 5 = Basal Metabolism
(10 x Body weight) + (6.25 x Height) ? (5 x Age) ? 161 = Basal Metabolism
Let's call Pedro to exemplify.
Pedro measures 1.80m, weighs 85kg and is 25 years old.
He is determined to lose weight, and he knows that food is essential to achieve good results, so he decides to calculate how many calories he needs daily.
The account for Pedro is as follows.
(10x85) + (6.25x180) ? (5 x 25) + 5
850 + 1125 ? 125 + 5 = 1855
Therefore, Pedro's basal metabolism is approximately 1855 Kcal.
These are the calories his body would burn even if he spent the day at home watching movies.
However, this is only part of the story, as the more activity, the more calories are used.
Now that you know approximately how many calories your body burns at rest, it's time to add the rest.
The more active your day to day, the more calories you will burn.
Below is the table you should use to get an approximate amount of calories you need to keep your weight.
|Little or none||1.2|
Use the value of your basal metabolism and multiply it by the level of activity appropriate to your case.
If you spend the day doing nothing, you don't even train, your activity level is low or none.
On the other hand, if you study or have an undemanding office job, and train 3 to 4 times a week, the ideal is probably the moderate level.
As for the higher levels, they are for people who not only do several intense workouts per week, but also work in a physically demanding area.
In Pedro's case, he goes to the gym four times a week, and during the day he has a typical office job.
Looking at the table, the correct calculation would be as follows:
1855 x 1.55 = 2875 Kcal
Pedro needs to ingest approximately 2875 Kcal to maintain his current weight of 85 kg.
However, our goal here is not to maintain, but to lose weight.
Calories to lose weight
You already know how many calories you need to maintain your current weight, so now it's simple.
Attention, the goal here is not just to lose weight, but to lose fat and maintain maximum muscle mass.
So, what should you do?
Reduce calories, but not in excess.
Let's call Pedro once more to help us.
Bearing in mind that Pedro maintains his current weight by using 2875 Kcal, he will start to ingest 2675 Kcal per day to lose weight.
This is a cautious but smart approach, where there is a reduction of just 200 Kcal per day.
The larger the initial cut, the greater the likelihood of losing strength, muscle mass and energy loss.
You choose to reduce between 200 to 300 Kcal in the first two weeks and then evaluate the results.
To be able to more accurately assess your progress, weigh yourself before reducing calories, and take some pictures.
You can also take measurements on certain parts of the body, such as the belly or legs.
Above all, don't be guided just by the scale.
After two weeks, what kind of results did you get?
Did you lose 1.5kg and see results in the mirror?
Continue what you are doing.
Didn't you lose weight and see no difference in the mirror?
Reduces another 100 or 200 kcal.
Above all, be patient and adjust gradually.
Finally, as you lose weight, you will eventually need to reduce the calories you eat, or introduce cardio training to help you.
This is because the less weight you have, the less calories your body will burn.
Losing weight is not to stop eating, but to eat intelligently.
Having an estimate of the calories you should be eating is useful, not only to lose fat efficiently but also to maintain as much muscle mass as possible.
Do not forget that these are only approximate values, as there are too many factors that can influence your caloric expenditure.
Use it as a guide to build your diet, and adjust according to the results, that's the most important thing.
Attention, you don't need to become a food sniper, and be overly strict and accurate, especially if you don't have competitive goals.
If your daily calorie value is 2500, there is no problem if you eat 2400 one day and 2600 the next day.
Finally, it is important to distribute these calories well.
If 90% of your calories are carbohydrates, the results will not be good.
You need enough protein, carbohydrates and fat.
To find out how much protein to eat daily see this article, but if you have doubts about what you should eat to lose fat, pass through here.