Everyone seems to be on that perennial diet. Almost everyone would love to lose that extra pound or two and would engage themselves on quick, lose-weight diets. However, that can actually be an unhealthy and dangerous practice. Instead of jumping on diet fads and the like, the question you should ask yourself is how many calories should I be eating? Knowing the right amount of calories that is suited for you and your body’s weight will guarantee that you won’t ever have to go on diet any more. By simply understanding the right amount of calories that your body needs, you can definitely lose – and keep off! – that extra weight.
How Many Calories Should I Be Consuming?
So the question is how many calories should I be eating? Calorie-intake varies from person to person, depending on many factors. Age, size, height, sex, lifestyle, and one’s overall health are the main determinants of how much calorie-intake a person should get. Globally, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization recommends a 1, 800 daily calorie intake. Recommended calorie intake however, varies country by country, so it’s better to check out from your country’s health institution the recommended amount for your place of origin.
One method that can answer the question how many calories should I be eating, is the Harris-Benedict equation. It is used to estimate the person’s BMR or basal metabolic rate as well as his or her recommended daily calorie intake. The recommended daily calorie intake is calculated by multiplying first one’s BMR total by a number representing their physical activity levels. The result will then be the recommended daily calorie intake for one to maintain their current body weight. This equation has its own limitations – body mass index, for example isn’t taken into account – but it is useful enough to use as a guide. There are available Harris-Benedict calculators online that can compute the results for you.
Scientists have calculated that a pound of fat is roughly equal to 3500 calories. That calculation should then translate that if there is a deficit of 500 calories in your daily diet, then that should result to a fat loss of about a pound a week. But then again, that isn’t as easy as it sounds! You have to keep in mind that as your body’s weight decreases, energy expenditure decreases as well – meaning you’ll have to adjust your calorie intake when you start losing weight.
How many calories are right for YOU?
Most Team Beachbody programs come with a calculator that you can use to figure out how many calories you should be eating located in the nutrition guides. We also offer this handy online calculator. For those of you who would rather have instant gratification, below an easy way to calculate how many calories you need to maintain your current weight.
Sedentary lifestyle (desk job): Current weight in pounds x 12 = Maintenance Caloric Needs.
Moderately active lifestyle (server in a restaurant and/or doing one of our entry level programs, like Power 90® or Hip Hop Abs®): Current weight in pounds x 13 = Maintenance Caloric Needs.
Once you have the figure we would need to subtract 500-1000 calories to create a deficit for weight loss. (But make sure that number stays about 1,200 for men and 800 for women. Anything lower can be dangerous over a long period of time.) On the other hand if you are looking to add some muscle mass start by adding 300 or more calories per day, but be sure you are using a good weight lifting program like Body Beast so those calories have a place to go in the body.
Using the equation above you probably have a number somewhere between 1,800 and 3,000 calories, which is what we’ll use as our starting point. If this calculation works for you, great. Keep going until it stops working. If it doesn’t work for you, no worries, we need to simply adjust our numbers to find the right spot for us. Try decreasing your intake by 200-300 calories per day for 7 to 10 days. If that still isn’t working for you, try subtracting some more for another 7 to 10 days. If after that you are still having issues and not dropping the weight, check out our Team Beachbody message boards where you can find friendly advice from the advice staff and coaching community. You’ll need a Team Beachbody account to access the message boards, but don’t worry it’s free and only take a minute to sign up. Click here to get your Free Team Beachbody Account.
I leave you with this, not all calories are created equal. You will need to do a little more than just hit a calorie goal. I recommend tracking your nutrition with an online tracker to keep things simple. This is also a way to set up your macronutrients (protein, carbs, fats) to maximize your results with whichever program you are using. If you are miscalculating badly you can hinder your overall results. Remember nutrition is 80% of your results.
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