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Losing Weight and Knowing How Many Calories You Need

You’ve decided that now is the time to lose that weight, but what is the correct approach.

There are hundreds of ‘diets’, all of which claim significant weight loss. But cutting out foods and going to extremes are all unsustainable in the long run. Your metabolism is unique to you and so not every diet will work for you. To lose weight and become slimmer and healthier it is key that you make changes to your diet & be mindful of what your individual eating behaviours are.

Healthy weight loss and maintenance is a matter of changing your way of life in ways that suit you: eating healthy foods that work for you in suitable portion sizes and fitting in exercise that you enjoy.

We tend to put on weight when our intake of calories is higher than we need, the unused calories are then stored as fat. To lose weight we need to consume less calories so that the body then starts to release the energy stored in the fat cells. By eating the right amount and type of food and increasing our activity levels we can achieve weight loss without feeling deprived and restricted.

We know the best way to achieve weight loss and keep it off in the long term is to lose on average 1lb to 2lb a week. We also know that in the longer-term it is not a good idea to reduce your calories by more than 800kcal each day, therefore a combination of healthy eating and exercise is the best approach.

On average a woman needs 2000kcal per day and a man needs 2500kcal per day to maintain their weight, however every individual is different.  There are 3500kcal in 1lb of fat so to lose 1-2lbs a week an individual would need to either consume less or burn more than 500 – 1000kcals per day. Therefore the average calories for a woman would be 1400 calories and 1900 for men.

Calculate your BMR to find out your base metabolic rate – the calories you burn at rest – and your daily calorie needs based on your activity. This will then help you to work out how many calories you as an individual need to consume each day to lose weight.