How Many Calories Should I Consume Everyday to Lose Weight?

Weight Loss & Caloric IntakeIf you’re looking to lose weight and lower your body fat, even more important to your success than participating in consistent exercise is to follow a healthy nutritional plan. You lose fat whenever you create a caloric deficit in your body by consuming fewer calories than you burn. Therefore, a comprehensive weight loss plan is one that consists of both frequent physical activities, which increases the number of calories you burn, and healthy eating habits, which decreases the number of calories you consume. Every 3,500 caloric deficit you create means you lose a pound of fat.

To lose weight doesn’t mean you should try to create a 3,500 caloric deficit everyday. The deficit must be created gradually over time in order to ensure that you’re still providing your body with an adequate amount of fuel. Plus, losing weight over time means that you’re acquiring healthy living habits, which will significantly increase your success for not only losing weight, but for keeping it off long term.

The American Council on Exercise recommends that those looking to lose weight create about a 500 caloric deficit with your nutritional adjustments. Multiply that by seven and you’ll see that means you create a 3,500 caloric deficit and thus lose a pound of fat per week. But, in order to ensure that you’re creating a deficit of 500 calories everyday, you first need to find out how many calories you burn.

Follow the steps below for figuring out how many calories you should personally consume for lowering body fat. Determine your weight in kilograms by dividing your weight in pounds by 2.2. Find your height in centimeters by multiplying your height in inches by 2.54.

1. How To Calculate Your Daily Metabolic Rate

66 + (13.7 X weight in kg) + (5 X height in cm) – (6.8 X age in years) = Men’s Estimated Daily Metabolic Rate

Example – 30 Year Old Male, 5’10” & 175 pounds
66 + (13.7 x (175 pounds / 2.2 kg / lb)) +
(5 x (70 inches x 2.54 cm/in)) – (6.8 x 30 years old)

66 + 1090 + 889 – 204 = 1,841 Daily Calorie Metabolism

655 + (9.6 X weight in kg) + (1.7 X height in cm) – (4.7 X age in years) = Women’s Estimated Daily Metabolic Rate

Example – 30 Year Old Female, 5’6″ & 140 pounds
655 + (9.6 x (140 pounds / 2.2 kg / lb)) +
(1.7 x (66 inches x 2.54 cm/in)) – (4.7 x 30 years old)

655 + 611 + 285 – 141 = 1,410 Daily Calorie Metabolism

2. Create a Daily Calorie Target

Once you have your estimated daily metabolic rate, subtract 500 from that value, which will give you the number of calories you should take in every day to create a daily caloric deficit of 500.

Now comes the hard part. You need to monitor you calorie intake and make adjustments as necessary to ensure that you’re consuming an appropriate number of calories. You’ll likely find that you’ve previously been taking in way too many calories. Cut your portion sizes down. Remove sodas from your diet.

Although you may be tempted to create an even greater daily caloric deficit in an attempt to lose fat even faster, it’s important to take your time and lose fat the right way. There is no way that you’d be able to maintain a diet of severe caloric limitations over time and as a result, you’ll likely put any weight you’ve lost back on once you start to eat normally again. In addition, limiting calories too significantly increases your risk of malnutrition.

About The Author

Kim Nunley - Article AuthorKim Nunley has worked in the health and fitness field for over 10 years. She received her Master’s of Science Degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (C.S.C.S.) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. She has been a personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, physical education instructor and athletic coach, and now works as a freelance writer. She also writes short and feature-length screenplays.

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