The principles of weight gain and weight loss is actually quite simple. When your calorie consumption is more than the number of calories you burn, the excess calories become fat and as a result, you gain weight. But when your calorie consumption is less than the calories you burn, you convert your stored fat into energy which results to weight loss.
So we go back to the original question:
how many calories should you eat a day to lose weight?
The answer: fewer than the calories you burn.
The Equation to Determine Your Calorie Intake
Now while it is easy to compute the number of calories you consume, counting the calories you use up is a much more complicated process. But you can use the well know Harris Benedict Equation to arrive at a close approximation.
First you have to get your BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate. This is the rate at which you burn calories even if you sleep for an entire 24 hours. It uses your height, weight, age, and gender to arrive at a number.
There’s a formula you can use, but it’s much simpler to just go online and use a BMR calculator.
Then you take that figure and multiply it by a factor determined by the amount of exercise and activities you have average every day. The final number is the number of calories you use up in a day, so therefore your calorie intake should be less than this final figure.
Here are some tips to use the Harris Benedict Equation to help you lose weight:
- You can lose 1 to 2 pounds a week by consuming 500 to 1000 fewer calories than the figure given by the Harris Benedict Equation every day. That’s because you need a 3500 calorie deficit to lose a pound of fat.
- However, this calorie decrease in your daily diet may prove too difficult for you. So you can first start by subtracting only 250 calories from the Harris Benedict Equation result. Once your body has acclimatized itself to the new diet, then you can start cutting down more calories.
- You can also increase the intensity and frequency of your exercise regimen so that you burn even more calories. You can start some weight training, and engage in cardio sessions three times a week. Then you can start doing more.
- For your diet, you should limit your carb intake while you consume protein moderately. You should really stop eating junk food, sugary confections, and processed food. These are calorie bombs that make it easy for you to form fat and prevent you from losing weight. They don’t have the nutrients you need to remain healthy.
- You can also take supplements to help you limit your calorie intake. For instance, the product known as Pure Garcinia Cambogia Premium can curb your cravings and also block the formation of fat.
Keep in mind though that the Harris Benedict Equation is just an approximation. You still need to test it out. If you are not losing weight, then you have to exercise more and perhaps eat a little less.
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