How Many Calories Should I Eat per Day to Lose Weight?

how many calories per day

How many calories should I eat per day? The answer to this question depends on numerous factors such as age, height, sex, weight, and activity level of an individual. Usually, a calorie deficit rule is followed to lose weight. Here you need to reduce your calorie intake to 500 calories per day. It will maintain your current weight and lose almost 1 pound per week.

What are calories?

Calories are the measure of the energy present in the food and drinks we consume. A person needs to eat fewer calories than their body needs to lose weight. This is a general rule. The calorie requirement varies from person to person.

The calorie requirement of women

Women ages 25-50 need 2000 calories per day on overage to maintain their weight. To lose 1 pound per week, these women are required to eat 1500 calories daily.

Similarly, women below 25 need more calories (2200) to maintain their weight. Aged women (above 50) need fewer calories.

These calorie estimates do not apply to those women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or highly active throughout the day. 

The calorie requirement of men

On average, men ages 25-45 need 2600 calories to maintain their weight. Young men ages 18-24 require more energy to perform their physical tasks. They require 2800 calories daily.

The energy requirement decreases with age, so men above 45 require 2200-2400 calories daily. Again, these estimates are only for the lightly active men.

If a man is highly active throughout the day, he will be needed 200-300 more calories to maintain their weight.

Similarly, according to the weight loss rule, they need a calorie deficit of 500 to lose 1 pound per week.

The calorie requirement of children

The calorie requirement of children also depends upon their age and activity level. During the early years, 1000-1200 calories are enough: while teenagers require up to 2800 calories. All this depends upon the activity level of a child.

A normally developing child does not need to count the calories. The less active children naturally intake the calories their body requires.

How to make a calorie deficit to lose weight?

Making a calorie deficit to lose weight seems quite simple but difficult to implement. If you want to gain weight, then you need to eat more calories than your body needs. On contrary, if you want to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your body requires. This is a calorie deficit.

It is ideal to add nutrient-rich foods to your diet to fulfill the body’s energy requirements. Make small changes to your diet without disturbing your daily eating habits much. It will give you long-term benefits.

People who do not make smart choices and stick to restricted diets end up starved and return to their old unhealthy habits.

For sustainable weight loss, you need to make a few permanent lifestyle changes to get the long-term benefits.

Increase your protein uptake

Adding more protein to your diet will help you lose weight faster by satiating your hunger and increasing your metabolism.

People eating more protein requires more calories for their metabolism. Protein also reduces cravings and helps sustainably lose weight.

Avoid sugary drinks

Another change that you can make to your diet is eliminating sugary juices. Soft drinks, fruit juices, or other drinks with added sugars have no health benefits.

Sugary drinks have a severe effect on overall health and lead a person to obesity. These drinks also increase the risk of developing many other diseases.

Increase water intake

One of the simplest ways to burn more calories is to drink more water. It burns more calories and increases your metabolic rate. Studies suggest that drinking 2 liters of water per day help you burn more calories. The latest studies have rejected the claims of burning more calories by drinking more water.

However, the timing of drinking matters. Drinking water half an hour before meals help you reduce your appetite. It will also help you eat fewer calories.

Eat less, move more

When you start a calorie deficit diet, your body automatically starts saving energy. It results in a slow metabolism and the burning of fewer calories. The only way to compensate for slow metabolism is to exercise and lift the weight.

Doing regular exercise, cardio, weight lifting, brisk walking or running will have a positive impact on your health, and it will prevent your metabolism from slowing down.

Reduce your carb intake

Reducing carb intake is one of the effective methods to lose weight and reduce appetite. Studies suggest that eating a low-carb diet will help you lose more weight than a low-fat diet.

How many calories you need to eat per day depends upon your sex, age, and physical activity level. Calorie deficit does not mean starving yourself.

Adopting a few lifestyle changes, exercising, and healthy eating habits will have a significant impact on your overall health. It will help you lose weight sustainably.

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