food healthy calories weight loss weight management fitness

This Is How To Calculate The Calories You Need To Eat, Everyday

By Rima Pundir
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This Is How To Calculate The Calories You Need To Eat, Everyday

Weight loss is a fine balance between the number of calories you take in and the number you expend by the physical activity you do every day. So if you take in more than you consume, the result is weight gain. If there's a balance, you stay the same weight. But it's only when the balance is skewed by you using more calories than you eat that you can truly begin to lose some weight.

Now the all-important question, in the name of fitness, how many calories should you eat?

1. Starving Yourself Is Not The Answer

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All food is made up of calories. And you can think of calories as fuel for your body, to do work, to regenerate, and to generally thrive and survive.

There are, of course, different kinds of nutrients to give you these calories, and each comes with specific functions. Naturally, the healthier the food, the lesser calorific quantity it carries, and vice versa. An apple is sweet but will give you fewer calories than an apple pie.

But maths can help you out here.

2. First, A Generalization

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Technically, the average adult needs about 2,000 calories a day, counting in mild to moderate exercise.

If you want to lose weight, you need to cut down the calories and usually, 500 fewer calories per day is a good place to start.

It's also never recommended for women to go below 1,200 calories or for men to go down 1,800, and even these are very low strict dieting numbers.

You need fuel for your body to function, without it, your metabolism will go haywire.

3. Calculate Calories Via BMR

Post-it notes with the words "DIET" and "BMR" on them.
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The Harris-Benedict formula can help here. First, you need to calculate your BMR, like this.

Using the metric system, try calculating:

Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) - (4.7 x age in years)

Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) - (6.8 x age in years)

You can also calculate it online, here if math is a bit too taxing for you right now.

4. The Harris-Benedict Equation To Lose Weight

Losing weight is as simple as maths
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Now that you have your BMR, you can calculate the calories you need to maintain your weight, as follows:

If you are sedentary = BMR x 1.2 If you are lightly active = BMR x 1.375 If you are moderately active = BMR x 1.55 If you are very active = BMR x 1.725 If you are extra active = BMR x 1.9

Say you have a BMR of 1,500 and you are lightly active, then 1,500 x 1.375 = 2,062.6. These are the calories you need to maintain your weight.

To lose weight, simply cut down via dietary changes or exercise.

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