Lose Weight by Counting Calories

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So you want to lose weight and want to know how many calories you should eat in order to achieve that:

First of all let’s remind us the number of calories contained in fats, proteins and carbohydrates:

1 gram of fat = 9 kilocalories ~ 37 kilojoules

1 gram of protein = 4 kilocalories ~ 16 kilojoules

1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 kilocalories ~ 16 kilojoules

And some more calorie values:

1 gram of alcohol = 7 kilocalories

1 gram of dietary fiber = 3 kilocalories

Having all these values in mind you can easily calculate the number of calories in food you eat every day. And how much calories you need a day is another question:

How to estimate your daily caloric needs

You can estimate your daily caloric intake with the Harris-Benedict formula. It helps you calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR), i.e. the optimum amount of energy your body needs to function.

Let’s calculate your BMR

To do that you need to use your current weight, height and age in step ONE. It’s easy:

Harris-Benedict formula for Women:

655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)

Harris-Benedict formula for Men:

66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)

Take your daily activities into account in step TWO:

  • Add 20% of your BMR to your current BMR if you are sedentary: (0.2*BMR) + BMR

Means you spend all day sitting in a chair: for example working with a computer in a bank, home, office, etc.

  • Add 30% of your BMR to your current BMR if you are lightly active: (0.3*BMR) + BMR

For example if you exercise 2-3 times a week.

  • Add 40% of your BMR to your current BMR if you are moderately active: (0.4*BMR) + BMR

For example if you exercise 4-5 times a week.

  • Add 50% of your BMR to your current BMR if you are very active: (0.5*BMR) + BMR

If you exercise every day of the week or for prolonged periods of time. For example if you are a fitness trainer.

  • Add 60% of your BMR to your current BMR if you are extra active: (0.6*BMR) + BMR

If you are a professional athlete or if you work hard labor job.

How knowing your BMR will help you lose weight?

Knowing your BMR means you are aware of how much calories you need a day to keep your current weight. However, if you want to lose weight you need to cut your daily caloric intake (eat fewer calories) or burn the extra calories (through some activities). As a result you should keep your daily calorie intake lower than your BMR. How much lower? That’s the question: But before that you need to know:

Some more nutrition facts from Wikipedia:

Because human adipose (fat) tissue contains about 87% lipids, one kilogram of it stores the caloric energy of roughly 870 grams of pure fat, or 7800 kcal. In principle one has to create a 7800 kcal deficit or surplus between energy intake and use to lose or gain 1 kg of body fat, respectively, or 3500 kcal per pound. However, if one eats 7800 kcal more than the body needs, one won’t necessarily gain 1 kg of fat, since muscle and other tissues may be built. In the same way, if one eats 7800 kcal less than their maintenance level, they may not lose 1 kg of fat, since muscle and sugars may be metabolized to generate energy.

In short and still roughly speaking – in order to lose 1 pound a week you need to eat 500 calories less a day or burn those calories through exercising or other activities. For optimal results you should combine the two methods – eat 250 calories less and burn the rest 250 exercising.

Gradual weight loss is the healthiest way to achieve your desired weight

More than 2 pounds a week is not very healthy and the lost weight is not permanent. 1 to 2 pounds a week is natural weight loss – good for you and your body. You will be loosing weight with a smile on your face and won’t even notice you are dieting, because you will be dieting naturally.

One thought on “Lose Weight by Counting Calories

  1. Immediately start eating 10% less than you usually do. Drink twice as much water your normally do each day. If you drink 1 liter a day, now drink 2 liters a day. Eat more fruits and try to cut out oily food as much as possible. You will see immediate results with these minor lifestyle adjustments.

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