May 8th, 2012 | Published in Diet Tips & Articles
Every day there must be hundreds of people wondering how many calories should they be eating in order to lose weight.
Well in general a healthy adult woman should consume 1940 calories a day in order to maintain her weight, with a man aiming to consume around 2550 calories a day.
Obviously this calorie number will depend on the individual and their age, sex, size and weight.
How to work out your daily calorie limit?
If you want to work out your own daily calorie limit then you should use the Harris-Benedict principle, which uses the ‘basal metabolic rate’ or BMR for short.
Your MBR basically refers to the amount of energy your body needs to function. Usually around 60% of the calories consumed are used through everyday functions like breathing.
Here is the formula to calculate your BMR if you are female:
655 + (your weight in pounds x 4.3)+(height in inches x 4.7) – (your age in years x 4.7)
Here is the formula to calculate your BMR if you are male:
66 + (your weight in pounds x 6.3)+(height in inches x 12.9) – (your age in years x 6.8)
After you have worked out your BMR you need to work out how many calories you can eat without gaining weight. This formula is known as your AMR or “activity metabolic rate.”
• If you do not exercise or only do a little then you should multiply your BMR by 20%
• If you do light exercise your BMR should be multiplied by 30%
• If you do moderate exercise (exercise most days) then multiply your BMR by 40%
• If you exercise daily then multiply your BMR by 50%
• Intense daily exercise then multiply your BMR by 60%
You should add both your AMR and BMR together to give you the amount of daily calories you can consume to stay at your current weight.
How many calories a day to lose weight?
If you want to lose weight there are two methods you can use.
1. Firstly you could reduce the amount of calories consumed by 500 per day. This should ensure a 1lb loss every week.
You should never reduce your daily calorie intake to lower than 1200 calories a day.
2. You could increase the amount of exercise you do. For example if you rarely exercise then increasing this to 2-3 times a week will see a huge difference.
You could combine the two suggestions but as you begin to lose weight it is important that you recalculate both your BMR and AMR to keep seeing the results.