How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day to Lose Weight?
No matter how much I stress the fact that you shouldn’t be focused on calories one of the number one questions I get is based on how many calories you should eat to lose weight.
Losing weight is a science and the good news is that you can get better at it with time if you stay patient and focused on eating healthy and exercising.
And given that it’s a science, it’s important to understand exactly what your body needs in order to lose weight.
To lose weight and burn fat, you essentially need to get your body into a calorie deficit. What this means is that you need to be burning more calories on a daily basis than you consume.
In many instances, an imbalance between calories in and calories out (with more calories in) is a key factor in obesity. This means that to lose weight, a shift has to occur in your calories in and calories out. But exactly what kind of shift do you need to make? How many calories should you eat a day to lose weight?
This is obviously a somewhat complicated question to answer, since it depends on a number of lifestyle factors including your job, how much exercise you get on a daily basis, and your genetics. But let’s look at a basic way of calculating your ideal daily calorie intake. Consider this a starting point.
How many calories should I eat a day to lose weight?
First, there are a number of calculators available online to help you figure out your daily calorie need. This number is based on a number of factors, including age, height, weight, and level of daily exercise. Click here for a simple calorie calculator.
Once you have this number, you need to determine how much weight you want to lose. This is a simple subtraction.
Current Weight – Goal Weight = Number of Kilograms/Pounds to Lose.
Next, you need to calculate the total calorie deficit needed to lose this total amount of weight. This is not a daily number – this is the total number of calories you need to burn over time to reach your goal.
If you’re using kilograms, multiply the number of kilograms you need to lose by 7700. One kilogram of body fat is 7700 calories.
If you’re using pounds, multiple the number of pounds you need to lose by 3500. One pound of body fat is 3500 calories.
For example, if you’ve determined that you need to lose 20 pounds, multiply 20 x 3500. Your answer is 70,000. This means that you need a total calorie deficit of 70,000 calories to reach your goal. But again, this number is reached over time.