How many average calories should you eat per day?
On average, a man needs to eat about 2500 calories per day to maintain their weight and about 2000 to lose 1 pound of weight per week. On the other hand, a woman needs about 2000 calories per day to maintain and about 1500 calories to shed a pound of weight per week.
What Do You Understand By Calories?
You can find out your BMR by using a calorie calculator online which determines this based on your height, gender, and activity level. These same calculators can actually also help you find out your daily calorie needs. But you should often think of this as a range and not an exact number. This is because calorie needs are usually individualised, and your daily activities vary each day.
Calorie Counting And Weight Loss – the relationship
Calculating the number of calories one needs to eat to lose weight is pretty simple. The most commonly used formula for calculating calorie needs is the Harris-Benedict equation. The equation may look a little intimidating, but once you get a hang of it, you will do just fine. Here is the formula to determine the number of calories you should eat per day;
Men: BMR = 66 + (12.7 x height in inches) + (6.23 x weight in pounds) – (6.8 x age in years)
That would be your BMR, but remember, you don’t stay in bed all day simply breathing and pumping blood. Which means in real life, you will need more than that. To estimate the amount of calories you can burn per day, we use the following activity level factors.
• Light activity: typically office work and approximately 1 hour of moderate activity/ exercise in between –(Activity factor = 1.5)
• Moderate activity: Includes light manual/ physical labor during the day, in addition to a more active lifestyle –(Activity factor = 1.6)
• Very Active: Military, hard physical/manual labor, full-time athlete –(Activity factor = 1.9)
To factor your daily activity in your daily calorie needs, you have to multiply the BMR by your activity factor. For instance, if your activity level is 1.5, which is common for most people, you will multiply that by 1441 calories, which gives you about 2161 calories.
How to cut Calorie Intake – without Starving Yourself
As already mentioned, calories are a measure of energy, and we all know by now that for you to lose weight, you need to burn a larger amount of calories than you’re consuming. Having said that, extremely reducing calories from the foods you love is not recommended as it might leave you hungry and in the end become unsustainable.
Here are some tips on how to cut your calories without feeling starved or deprived
• Eat more proteins: Eating more proteins is probably the simplest and most delicious way to lose weight. Research has revealed that eating more proteins can help you curb appetite and increase your metabolic rate (1). Proteins usually require a lot of energy to metabolise, which increases calories burn by up to 100 per day (2, 3).
• Drinking More Water: simply drinking up to 2 litres of water per day will enable you to burn up to 96 more calories (4). The timing here is also very important –taking water some 30 minutes before you eat your meals is known to reduce hunger and hence cut down your caloric consumption.
• Exercise and Lift Weights: restricting your calories for a long-term can reduce your metabolism and cause you to burn fewer calories. Regular exercise along with cutting your calorie intake can prevent your metabolism from slowing down as well as avoid muscle lose (5).
• Avoid sugary fruit juices and soft drinks: such drinks include chocolate milk, fruit juices, sodas and other drinks that have added sugar. You see, our brains do not “register’ liquids the same way they register other solid calories. For this reason, sugary drinks are known to increase the risk of obesity (6).
The amount of calories your body needs each day largely depends on your goals –that is if you want to gain, maintain or lose weight. Other factors such as age, height, current weight, gender, metabolic health, and activity levels also play in.
Reducing calories doesn’t necessarily mean you starve yourself –you just have to understand the relationship between calorie counting and weight loss. And that’s where a calorie calculator comes in if the above formula looks a little intimidating.