The calculator below is simple to use but highly accurate in determining how many calories you need to lose weight. You also find a few scientifically proven tips on how to reduce your calorie intake and sustain it.
Use the calculator below to accurately determine how many calories you need to consume in a day to lose weight. It also tells you the maximum number of calories you need maintain your current weight.
How many calories should you consume per day?
An average woman will lose about 1 pounds of weight per week on a 1,500-calorie per day diet. The figure is 2,000 calories for the average man.
An average woman will need to consume 2,000 calories per day to maintain their current weight. The figure is 2,500 calories for the average man.
However, these figures will change based on many factors. The number of calories you need to eat to lose or maintain weight will depend on your current weight, height, age, activity level, the state of your metabolic health and many other factors.
What are calories?
Calories are units used to measure energy. In nutrition, it is used to measure how much energy a food item contains. The more calories you consume, the more weight you gain.
You need to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight. Your body stores excess calories as fat reserves when you eat more calories than you burn,
What are the best calorie counters?
One way of keeping track of how many calories you consume is by using a calorie counter. This can either be a mobile app or an online (web) application found on a website.
You enter the food items you eat, and the counter tells you how many calories are in the food and what percentage of the total calories are proteins, carbs or fats.
Check out our review of the 5 best calorie counters and calculators apps.
All the counters featured can either be used on a website or as a mobile app. They are also free to use after registration.
If you are serious about weight loss, a calorie counter will go a long way to put you on the right track. At least use it, in the beginning, to get a general overview of your diet and help you make the necessary adjustments.
These counters can also tell you how much fiber and what micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are in your food.
How to limit calories without going hungry?
To do this, you need to look at calories in a whole different way.
Often, we are told that we just need to eat fewer calories than we burn to lose weight. This simple way of putting it makes people want to eat as few calories as possible.
Calories are just a measure of how much energy is in a food item. It should not be the all-deciding factor in weight loss.
Instead, you need to think about the source of the calories you eat. When you do this, it is no longer how many calories you consume, but where those calories are coming from.
If you go with strictly limiting calories, you will go hungry. And most people simply give up on their weight loss journey because they can’t stand the hunger. Only a few people are committed enough to power through the periods of intense hunger.
What you should really focus on is the content of the food you eat and your lifestyle in general. If you are a very inactive person, you need to change that and incorporate some exercise into your life. One of the easiest ways to keep active is to go for walks.
Making changes to the content of your diet and your lifestyle will allow you to limit calories without starving yourself.
And this ensures long-term weight loss and maintenance.
The following content outlines a few scientifically proven diet and lifestyle changes that guarantee weight loss without going hungry.
Proteins help suppress appetite, reduce food cravings by as much as 60% and burn more calories.
Protein is probably the most important nutrient in the battle to lose weight.
Increasing your protein intake allows you to lose weight more effectively and effortlessly.
There are a few studies that prove protein helps suppress appetite and boost the rate of metabolism (c).
Protein also feels you up more than any of the other major nutrients. There is a study that shows you can consume as much as 440 fewer calories daily if 30% of your daily calories come from protein (g).
This means you can reduce your calorie intake and increase the number of calories burned by simply including more protein in your diet.
One of the reasons most dieters fail to see their plan through is because of food cravings. Including more protein in your diet can also help curb these cravings.
There was a study where subjects were given diets that had at least 25% of the calories coming from proteins. Their food cravings went down by 60%, and desire for late-night snacks went down by 50% (h).
Increase the amount of protein in your diet to lose weight sustainably and maintain your new weight.
When you make a permanent move to get a large portion of your daily calorie intake from protein, it does not only help you lose weight. It also helps you maintain and prevent weight regain in the future (i, j).
Read our article about how much protein to include in your food.
Conclusion: Protein is your best friend when it comes to weight loss. Protein helps suppress appetite, reduce food cravings, and boost metabolism. Include more protein in your diet for effortless weight loss.
Steer clear of sugars (including sugary drinks). One of the worst offenders when it comes to weight gain.
It is a simple change but eliminating sugar (particularly those in sugary drinks) from your diet is one of the best things you can do to lose weight.
Drinks such as sodas, packaged fruit juice, chocolate milk, sweetened yogurt, etc. contain high amounts of harmful sugars.
These types of foods are one of the worst offenders as far as weight gain is concerned. Simply put, they pile on the fat.
This is because the brain does not “register” calories from liquid sources the same way it registers calories from solid food.
Some studies show that giving your child sugary drinks (including sweetened beverages) daily, can raise the risk of them becoming obese by as much as 60% (m).
Weight gain is not the only negative effect of sugar intake. It has been linked to other diseases and can also have a harmful effect on your metabolic system (n).
However, not all sources of sugar are bad. You can safely consume small quantities of sugar from whole foods (such as fruits). The health issues arise when you add large amounts of sugar to your drinks and other beverages.
Apart from “enjoying” these drinks, your body does not get any real benefits from these sugary drinks. It is better to stay away from them and reap the long-term benefits.
Conclusion: Sugar, in liquid drinks such as soda and fruit juice, is one of the worst contributors to weight gain. It is best to steer clear of such drinks if you want to lose weight.
Drink Plenty of Water: It Is Important in Losing Weight
An important (but often overlooked) way to lose more weight is to drink plenty of water.
You can burn an extra 96 calories each day by simply drinking about 2 liters (about 8 glasses of water) in a day. This includes the water in beverages such as tea and coffee.
An important factor in using water to burn fat is timing. It has been shown that you will eat fewer calories if you drink a glass of water about 30 minutes before meals (q).
There was a study that showed that people about 44% more weight over a 12-week period just by drinking about 500 ml of water about 30 minutes before meals (r).
Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water throughout the day for a faster weight loss. This combination does seem to help.
You can also flavor your water with lemons and mint.
Conclusion: Water can increase the rate of metabolism. Also, you tend to consume fewer calories when you drink water about 30 minutes before your meals.
Practice weightlifting and other exercises
When you limit the number of calories you consume, the body adjusts by making you burn less of it.
This leads to a significant slowing down of the metabolism in the long-term. Because you are consuming fewer calories, the body does not feel the need to burn it.
It doesn’t just slow down metabolism but also results in the loss of muscle mass. Losing muscle mass can also lead to a further slowing down of the metabolic process.
The best way to prevent muscle loss is to build them. You do this by lifting weights. Combine weightlifting with a high-protein diet to build muscles.
It is not all about weight. A healthy person with healthy muscles mass can weigh more than an obese person but look leaner them.
The image below shows what weight can look like. This is an image of the same woman. Which one do you think is the heaviest? If you said the one of the left, you are correct. She weighs more on the left than on the right but is about half the size. This is what getting lean and having muscle mass does to your body.
The focus should not just be about losing weight, but on losing fat and building lean muscles. This is the way to go if you want to look good (in the traditional good-looking way).
You can join a gym or use a home gym for your weightlifting endeavors. However, if you are unable to go to the gym and have no weightlifting apparatus at home, you can try other forms of resistance training such as push-ups and squats (for your legs).
Cardio exercises such as running, fast walking, jogging and Zumba, are also effective for losing weight (but not so much for building muscle.
The best form of exercise for weight loss is the HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts. However, those are difficult to do and may not suit everyone.
Exercising brings a lot of other health benefits besides just weight loss and muscle building. It is also great for mental health, long life and general health. Whenever I work out in the morning, I feel good throughout the rest of the day (w, x, y).
Conclusion: Resistance exercises, such as weight lifting, prevents muscle loss and boosts metabolism.
Eat fewer carbs: Particularly those from refined carbs and sugars
If losing weight is your goal, then one of the best ways to achieving this goal is by cutting carbs from your diet (z).
Apart from weight loss, low-carb diets provide other health benefits… particularly for those people who have type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Even if you don’t want to switch to a low-carb diet, you should avoid eating refined carbs and sugars. Get your carbs from healthy sources such as whole foods (sweet potatoes, corn, etc.). These are quality carbohydrates rich in fiber.
When you avoid refined and processed food, then how many calories you need to eat becomes less important. You only need to combine a good exercise routine with your diet for effective weight loss.