We’re all driven to try to maintain a healthy figure. How we go about that varies, especially with these days there being a seemingly endless amount of diet and exercise plans floating around out there.
Some of us will hit the gym to lift weights, while others opt to lace up their running shoes and hit the trail. And the central goal for many of us as we go about our fitness routine is to not just improve our overall healthy, but also to lose weight.
But for everyone out there trying to lose weight, how many are actually reaching their goal? Very few! Which is unfortunate. That’s because while we may truly desire to get rid of our flabby belly, most get overwhelmed by the seemingly endless amount of information.
But ultimately what it will really come down to is ensuring that your burn more calories each day then you take in through what you’re eating and drinking. Eat less calories then you burn during your daily activity and you will lose weight.
How many calories should I eat per day then?
Determining how many calories you should eat each day to lose weight depends on your activity level as well as how much weight you are trying to lose, and how fast.
Since 3500 calories equals roughly 1 pound (or 0.45kgs), to lose one pound of body weight you need to burn 3500 more calories than you take in. So if you take in 500 calories less per day, you should lose 1 pound per week.
Eat the same amount of calories each day that your body requires and you will maintain your current weight. Eat 500 more calories per day and you will gain 1 pound, 1000 calories per day you will gain 2 pounds, and so on.
How many calories does my body burn daily?
To know the proper level of calories you should be eating daily to lose weight (or whatever your goal is), then you’re obviously now going to need to know how many calories you’re burning through your normal lifestyle and the activities in which you engage.
That’s where a tool called BMR, or basal metabolic rate, comes into play. Simply put, this determines how many calories your body will burn each day just by existing, with adjustments based on your height, weight, age and gender.
What is my BMR?
Calculate your BMR by using the tool below. Once you have that number, we’ll adjust it based on your lifestyle.
This number the tool gave you is basically what your body would burn if you did nothing but stay in bed all day long.
Now adjust for your activity level
Okay, so now that we’ve determined your BMR, it’s time to adjust that based on your lifestyle. The Harris-Benedict formula uses what type of occupation you have as well as the amount of exercise you do to give you an accurate idea of how many calories you’re actually burning each day.
How it works is very simple. Just take the BMR level that you figured out just a second ago, and then multiply it by your level of activity using the numbers below.
- Multiply your BMR by 1.2 if you have a sedentary work/home life and do not exercise
- Multiply by 1.375 if you exercise lightly 1 to 3 days per week
- Multiply by 1.55 if you exercise 3 to 5 days per week
- Multiply by 1.725 if you exercise 6 to 7 days per week
- Multiply by 1.9 if you exercise 7 days per week and also have a physically demanding work/home life
Of course, not everyone will fit perfectly into one category, so if you are unsure just use the lower number.
Putting it all together
You know that to lose 1 pound per week you must be at a deficit of 500 calories per day. You know your daily BMR, and you know how much to multiply it by based on your average activity level.
All that’s left to be done is to subtract. If, for example, your BMR multiplied by your activity level were 2100 then you can eat 1600 calories per day and over time you will lose an average of 1 pound per week.
For help on determining what exactly you should be eating, the VFX Body System by noted nutrition researcher John Barban will help big time. His ideas are unique because they’re specifically designed for women, and take into account how your body responds to exercise, what you eat, etc.
The system focuses on optimizing the female metabolism in a way that no other program has previously addressed it. It takes into account everything from your measurements, your food preferences, your schedule, and your fitness level to create a strategy which produces maximum results.
It emphasizes what John calls the “5 wonder veggies for women.” Studies found these veggies boosted women’s metabolisms in a massive way regardless of their lifestyle or beginning body shape. Learn the 5 veggies in this video that explains the system (the 5 are listed at the 1:05 mark).
However you decide to go about losing weight, ensure that you’re still bringing in a healthy amount of calories and nutrients. Even if you’ve only got a bit to lose, putting your health at risk is not worth any amount of possible weight loss. Stick to safe, natural programs like VFX that John created.
Oh, and be sure to pin this in case you need to use the calculator again later!