How Many Calories Should I Eat to Lose Weight FAST? The question on every dieters lips…
“Calories” are getting a bad rep and faddy dieters are partly to be blamed for this.
Most of us these days casually throw the word around without actually getting the whole picture.
Why are we counting calories?
** Please note that this post may contain affiliate links which means that I can receive a small payment if you make a purchase through my links.
Or better yet, why are we even avoiding them at all costs?
We keep seeing calories in a bad light because not everyone knows the deal.
All we know is that calories make us fat and too much of them will hinder our fitness efforts.
People who are new to dieting and healthy lifestyle are often heard asking, “How many calories should I eat to lose weight?” believing that the term is referring to food.
I used to be like this, especially since I knew I should be concerned over anything that has to do with gaining and losing weight.
But today, I’ve decided to set things clear so I can really help you get the results you deserve.
What Are Calories?
Thermodynamics saw the first coining of the term “calorie” to refer to the unit of energy used to measure the heat required to raise a gram of water by 1°C.
But because of its involvement in the bodily processes and in particular, food and diet, it eventually became a household name.
When someone says “calories” within the context of food intake, it almost always means that he’s referring to kilocalories or the “large calorie”.
Kilocalories are used to measure the amount of energy that one can get out of eating a particular food or drinking a particular beverage.
To avoid confusion, dieticians and fitness coaches simply refer to these as “food calories”.
In terms of dieting, people normally talk about calories in terms of food quantity and it is a triggering factor among obsessive-compulsive dieters who prefer to count their way towards a leaner figure.
Hence, when somebody asks, “How many calories should I eat to lose weight quick?” what he actually means is how much food he is allowed to eat, relative to the amount of calories that the body needs to burn.
By “burning” these calories, the body gets its fuel for functioning.
The slimming down and weight loss only happen when these calories, after being stored as fats for a certain time, are burned through engaging in a calorie deficit diet and/or intense physical activity such as exercise.
So you see, calories aren’t really bad, but we’ll discuss more about it in the next sections.
How Many Calories Do You Need Each Day?
Counting calories matters in weight management, whether you need to lose or gain pounds.
As for weight loss, you need to consume less calories than your body burns for its vital functions.
On average, the recommended calorie intake for women is 1500 while men need to consume 2000 calories a day—both for losing approximately 1 pound a week.
However, these figures aren’t conclusive.
Determining factors typically include current weight, height, activity levels and metabolic rate, among a few others.
This means you have to manually calculate your calorie requirement.
How to Calculate My TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure)
To know your TDEE, you need to establish your basal metabolic rate (BMR) which determines your metabolic rate at rest based on your age, sex and built.
In other words, your BMR represents the amount of calories you burn just being alive.
Here is the equation for determining your BMR:
Women = 655 + (4.5 multiplied by your weight in lbs) + (4.7 multiplied by your height in inches) – (4.7 multiplied by your age in years)
Men = 66 + (6.23 multiplied by weight in lbs) + (12.7 multiplied by height in inches) – (6.8 multiplied by your age in years)
By the way, if you’re wondering why there’s a slight difference in the figures for men and women, it is because men burn more calories due to their build and amount of muscle in their bodies as compared to women who have lesser need for body fuel.
Now, that’s just a part of the whole TDEE equation.
The other part involves determining your AMR or the active metabolic rate.
As the term implies, this value represents your metabolic rate when you’re on the move or engaged in a physical activity.
It can be derived by multiplying your BMR by a specific amount that corresponds to a level of activity.
Refer to the list below for specific activity levels that you can use to determine your AMR.
Little to no exercise: Your BMR x 1.2
Light Active (engaged in exercise at least 1-3 days per week): Your BMR x 1.375
Moderately Active (engaged in exercise 3-5 days per week): Your BMR x 1.55
Active (engaged in exercise daily): Your BMR x 1.725
Very Active (engaged in hardcore daily exercise): Your BMR x 1.9
Now once you derived your AMR, it should give you an idea of how many calories you need to consume per day to maintain your current weight.
If you’re planning to lose pounds, you must increase your activity level or alternately, decrease your calorie intake.
How to Use a Calorie Counter
I know you probably feel a bit overwhelmed with the aforementioned figures that you need to manually derive.
I mean who wants to do complicated maths when you can use a calculator? (Despite what our school teachers used to tell us!)
So that’s why I created a Weight Loss Calculator to save you time and headache.
This Daily Calorie Calculator takes the hassle out of counting your calorie intake by simply allowing you to input details such as your age, gender, height, current weight and activity level.
Your energy expenditure will be computed automatically for you once you selected the kind of activity which you are likely to engage in on a daily basis.
If you are not sure how much physical activity you exert on a regular, you can simply choose a conservative estimate so you can get better results.
How Many Calories Do I Need to Eat to Lose Weight FAST?
Dieticians recommend that you limit your daily calorie intake to 1500 if your aim is to lose 1 pound of weight in a week.
That’s a healthy estimate and is proven safe.
Although there are instances where individuals can actually lose more than 1 pound in a week, that doesn’t mean you should consume calories way below the prescribed limit.
Anything less than 1200 calories is considered risky by nutritionists and fitness coaches as these may pose health issues such as gallstones and fatigue.
Remember that your aim is to lose weight, not to feel weak.
If you ask, “How many calories should I eat to lose weight fast?” you are more or less expecting a definite answer.
But the truth is, you should also ask how safe the calorie intake can be for your health.
Why the Quality of the Calories Matters Just As Much As Quantity
You probably learned in school about the three macronutrients namely protein, carbohydrate and fat.
All three food groups have their respective amounts of calories which make them different from one another.
But the problem lies in not knowing what particular food items from these three groups are worth consuming calories from.
Protein and carbohydrate each contain 4 calories per gram.
But that doesn’t necessarily make them healthier than fat, which has 9 calories per gram.
Thus, the key to effective weight loss is not just counting the calories, but also scrutinizing the quality of calories you are getting.
Dieticians have referred to foods as “empty calories” when they do contain calories but having no other nutritional value to gain from.
These include refined carbohydrates in form of white bread, pasta, cookies and white rice, among many others.
This is why most dieters try to avoid too many refined carbs.
On the other hand, fats, which are often believed to ruin a diet, are actually beneficial depending on the amount and source.
For example, the polyunsaturated fats from flax seeds and vegetable oils actually help you maintain a healthy heart.
Women, especially need to get at least 15-20% of fat in their diet to maintain healthy hormone balance in the body.
Same as with proteins; they also help you gain muscle that are necessary for burning stored fats.
So you see, it all boils down to careful choices.
Calories can be good or bad, depending on their nutritional value aside from providing your body with energy reserves.
Calories play a vital role in our bodily functions.
But not because weight loss entails limited calorie intake does it automatically means you should avoid them altogether.
Instead, you should focus not only on counting your calories, but also on the quality of calories which you are planning to consume.
Food varies by nutritional value so as much as possible you should aim to consume the ones with manageable amounts of calories yet helping you improve your overall health.
In my weight loss meal planning system, The Leaf System, the meal plans are specifically developed to be low enough in calories to help you consistently lose weight, but not too low that it would cause a drop in energy.
My meal plans are only made up from whole, healthy ingredients with no processed foods, which does wonders for your health and boosts your metabolism so you can actually lose weight faster.
5 Best Weight Loss Resources
1) Related Resources You Are Also Going To Love
I’ve compiled a list of helpful resources that will help you take things to the next level:
- How I Lost 56 Pounds With The Green Smoothie Diet
- How To Lose Weight With Diet & Food YouTube PlayList
- The Best Weight Loss Tips and Healthy Diet Plans Pinterest Board
- Hundreds of Top Weight Loss Tips, Tools, Diet Plans, Recipes, Articles & Videos
2) My Must Have Weight Loss Tools
3) FREE Weight Loss Meal Plans
4) FREE Weight Loss Recipe Card
I invented the Green Thickie recipe which is a complete meal green smoothie. This smoothie helped me to drop 56 pounds in 4 months.
5) Follow Green Thickies Social Media Channels:
I share different content on each platform and I can’t wait to connect with you over there.
- Get fruit inspirational fruit facts, fruit recipes and more by following @greenthickies on Instagram
- Follow Green Thickies on Pinterest for all my recipes and articles
If you enjoyed this article, How Many Calories Should I Eat To Lose Weight FAST? please let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Are you struggling to lose weight and keep it off?
Are you feeling run down and are struggling with ever increasing health problems?
Green Thickies new 7 Day Detox will help you drop a dress size, improve your skin, your energy will soar and you are going to be so in control and proud of yourself.
You won't go hungry on this diet ... And better yet - it actually requires minimal time in the kitchen.
Get results like this...Hi Katherine,
I just wanted to tell you I completed the 7 day detox and I feel so great.
I have lost 6lbs, do not feel like I need more my morning coffee, the flushing of my facial skin from rosacea has dramatically reduced and I am so excited to wake up each morning and make a green thickie for breakfast!!
I am a stay at-home, homeschooling momma of 3 littles and at times so busy I would forget to feed myself!
I would go most of the day without eating and then snack on random things.
I gained 60 pounds the last 6 years during pregnancy.
I have lost 30lbs but recently plateaued and have felt so frustrated.
I’ve tried everything from paleo and keto to the point where I didn’t know what to eat or how much and felt like even eating fruit was bad for me which thankfully it’s not!
What a game changer for me. Thank you for sharing a simple but effective program.
I’m so excited to continue another week with this plan! Thankful Stephanie
Use this special voucher to get $10 off: WEBSITE (Add discount code WEBSITE at the checkout)
Click here to get started
- How To Use Bananas For Sleep (Bedtime Banana Elixir Recipe) - January 14, 2022
- Why You Can’t Eat Your 5 A Day (And The EASY SOLUTION) - November 29, 2021
- 10 Second Banana Ice Cream Recipe (Using Only Bananas) - November 1, 2020