Losing Weight

How many calories should I eat to lose weight?

This is not an ad not an endorsement. This video has been offered as a resource to inspire you on your own weight-loss journey.

To lose weight the calories you burn must be greater than the number of calories you consume. This video and the steps below will help you determine how many calories you need to maintain your weight, and how to calculate how to reduce your calories to lose weight.

1. Set Attainable Goals

Set reasonable, attainable goals by first asking yourself how much weight you want to lose and by when. It is important to remember two things: (1) you need to burn 3,500 calories off in order to lose one pound of fat and (2) reasonable, safe weight loss should not exceed 1-2 pounds per week.

Start by taking the number of pounds you need to lose and multiplying that number by 3,500. For example, if you want to lose 10 lbs you would calculate how many calories you need to burn like this:

10 pounds x 3,500 calories = 35,000 calories must be burned in order to lose 10 lbs.

2. Aware — Be Aware of What Your Body Needs

Next, calculate how many calories you burn while resting. This is called your “BMR” for Basal Metabolic Rate.

Women’s BMR Formula

65 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years) = BMR

Men’s BMR Formula

66+ (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years) = BMR

If you eat more calories than your BMR you will gain weight unless you also exercise. If you wish to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than your BMR (exercising will also increase the rate at which you lose weight.)

3. Activity Level

You can add calories based on your level of physical activity as follows: BMR x Activity Level

  • Sedentary: BMR x 1.2
  • Light Activity (exercise 1-3 days per week): BMR x 1.375
  • Moderately Active (exercise 3-5 days/week): BMR x 1.55
  • Very Active (exercise 6-7 days/week): BMR x 1.725
  • Extremely Active: BMR x 1.9

So, now calculate:

BMR x Activity Level = Calories Needed to Maintain Your Current Weight

Once you know how many calories it takes to maintain your weight, you simply eat fewer calories than you need each day. It takes a 3,500 calorie deficit to lose one pound. If you are ready to plan your specific weight-loss campaign it is time to set your goals!