First things first. Let’s take a quick look at how your body functions and how calories are not that bad for your body as you might think.
If you don’t want to read the intro, skip directly to the question how many calories should I eat to lose weight?
How does your body function?
You body is a machine, just like an engine of a car. You need to pour in some fuel in order for engine to work. It’s the same with your body. Your body needs fuel to operate and in this case fuel is food! The more food you eat, the more fuel you have and vice versa.
The problem is that when you consume too much food (fuel) and you don’t spend all this fuel during the day, your body will store it for later use. Like a gas tank. That is your extra body weight or the extra fat. Men usually have extra fat around waist, women have it on buttocks and hips.
So how to do it right? If you eat just as much calories as you needs per day, you will maintain your weight and you will not have to think about losing weight. If you eat too much calories and you don’t burn them, you will start to gain weight. If you eat less calories than you need per day, you will start to lose weight. That’s the whole science of gaining / losing weight in a nutshell.
Every individual is different. There are many factors when it comes to daily calorie consumption, it’s not just weight, height and age. There are also other important factors such as fat percentage, density of bones, muscle mass, metabolism, level of activity… All these factors count when you calculate your daily calorie consumption. But you can still get a rough estimate if you calculate your daily calorie consumption using our tool. Read on.
What is DA value? DA value stands for daily activity value. Did you run today? 1 hour of running equals (roughly) about 500 calories, so DA for that day would be 500 calories. Of course this value depends on your physical attributes (it could be much higher or much lower).
What is BMR? BMR is short for basal metabolic rate and it simply tells you how much calories would your body burn during the day if you were not active at all – just lying in bed and not move a muscle. You can calculate BMR using our BMR calculator.
BMR tells you how much calories your body burns to keep itself running. Your body still needs energy to keep you warm, it needs energy so you can breathe, it needs energy so you can think. Did you know that 20% of your BMR value is consumed by brain? Read some more interesting facts about human body.
So, BMR + DA value tells you how much calories you should consume per day. If BMR + DA equals 2000 kcal per day than that means you should consume no more than 2000 kcal per day or you will start to gain weight. If you were to consume 1800 kcal per day than that means you will start losing weight. It’s that simple. Just to make things clear – we are talking about fat loss here and not weight loss which does not necessarily mean fat loss.
So, how much calories should you eat to lose weight? The bottom line is in order to lose weight (fat) efficiently you should eat less calories than you burn during the day. The best practice is to eat 10% to 15% less than your daily calculated value is.
Weight loss calculator
By using weight loss calculator you can calculate how many calories should you eat to lose weight and also in what time frame you can lose that extra weight. Keep in mind that when it comes to weight loss you must be reasonable.
The CDC recommends that you lose weight gradually, approximately 1 to 2 lbs. per week (between 0.45 and 0.9 kg of weight loss (fat loss) per week).