How many calories should I eat a day to lose weight?

The amount of calories that a person eats in a day varies. It depends on factors like age, gender, current weight, current height, and the level of physical activities that the person has. If you want to know how many calories to lose weight, you can either consult a nutritionist who will calculate your daily calorie requirement, use online calorie calculators, or manually compute it. This article will guide you how to calculate your daily calorie requirement.

Factors that affect the daily calorie requirement

  • Age – the daily calorie requirement of a person is like a hill. Babies need fewer calories at the beginning and they it gradually increases until it reaches its peak during adolescence. The amount of calories that the body needs will then gradually decrease as the person gets older.
  • Gender – Men require more calories because they have faster metabolism compared to women due to their higher muscle mass and lesser fat percentage build.
  • Current weight and height – Basically, people who are heavier require more calories daily. However, people whose weight is proportionate to their height would require more calories than those who are lighter but taller. For example, a 5ft. 6in. person regardless of gender and age who weighs 100 pounds needs to increase her calorie intake because s/he is considered underweight. On the other hand, a person with the same height who weighs 150 pounds simply needs to maintain the amount of his/her calorie consumption because he’s weight is just right. However, a 5ft. 6in. person who weighs 200 pounds needs to reduce his daily calorie intake because s/he is already under the obese class 1 category.
  • Physical activities – the amount of calories that the person should consume also depends on the level of their physical activities. Unlike a person who lives a sedentary lifestyle, an active person needs more calories because s/he needs it to have constant supply of energy.

How to compute for your daily calorie requirement

  • For men:  66 + (13.7 x Weight in kilograms) + (5 x Height in centimeters) – (6.8 x Age in years) x Activity factor
  • For Women: 665 + (9.6 x Weight in kilograms) + (1.8 x Height in centimeters) – (4.7 x Age in years) x Activity factor

Activity Factor:

  • Sedentary lifestyle – X 1.2
  • Light Activity – X 1.375
  • Moderate Activity – X 1.5
  • Heavy Activity – X 1.7
  • Extremely Heavy Activity – x 2

So, how many calories should you eat in a day? Do the math and you’ll find out if you have been consuming more, less, or just the right amount of calories daily.

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