How Many Calories to Lose Weight?

Everyone is looking for how to lose weight. The biggest question everyone always wants to know when trying to lose weight is how many calories they should eat to lose weight. Unfortunately, the answer changes from person to person, as each of us have a different rate of burning calories – our metabolism. Between 60-65% of the calories we consume on a daily basis are used for normal body functions; 10% is used for the actual consumption of food. Just for these basic functions, we need a minimum of 1200 calories each day; then you need to add to that based on your activity level and metabolism rate.

There are many factors that affect the number of calories we require, including age, size, gender, weight, height, and activity level. As we age, the number of calories we require lessens. This is often why we gain weight as we age; we still eat the same number of calories.

Generally speaking, men need between five and ten percent more calories than women. Men normally have more muscles than women do. An exception to this rule is pregnant or nursing women, who need, on average, between 300 and 500 more calories than normal.

You also have to take into effect how active a lifestyle you lead. A person who works at a desk will need less calories than a person who has a physically demanding job. If you play sports, or work out a lot, you’ll need more calories than someone who just sits at home. Take an honest look at how active you are before making any changes to your calorie intake levels.

The best sources of calories are healthy, all natural foods. Many fruits and vegetables have nutrients in them that naturally help you burn calories faster; apples, for instance, contain fiber which helps you feel full longer. This is why they are such good snack food! The following foods are called “negative calorie” foods because it burns more calories to eat them than they contain:

  • Asparagus
  • Celery
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Papayas
  • Spinach
  • Turnips
  • Cucumbers
  • Chili Peppers
  • Green Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Zucchini
  • Pineapple
  • Oranges
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Cranberries
  • Lemons
  • Apples
  • Tangerines

Carbohydrates and proteins provide four calories per gram, while fat contains nine calories per gram. Alcohol has seven calories per gram, which is why you should avoid it when you’re trying to lose weight. Reduce the amount of fat and alcohol you consume, and you’ll have more luck losing weight.

In general, you will get the proper amount of calories if you eat small portions of healthy, natural foods four to six times a day. Avoid processed foods as much as you can. Natural foods contain the vitamins and minerals your body needs to boost your metabolism. Diet pills can also help give your metabolism a boost to start you on the right track to weight loss.

Perhaps the best way to determine how many calories you need to consume to lose weight is to keep a food journal that tracks the calories. There are many such tools available for smart phones, online, or even in a journal format. Keep track of your calorie intake for a week, and note your weight at the beginning and end of that week. Did you gain or lose any weight? If you gained, then try lowering your daily calories, and/or increasing your physical activity.

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