How Many Calories A Week You Should Eat For Weight Loss
Don’t get ahead of yourselves, weight watchers. Before you get caught up in carb-cutting and fat-burning, let’s talk calories. Losing weight without taking calorie consumption into consideration is like driving a car without pressing on the gas pedal — you aren’t going to get anywhere. So while I do recommend watching your sodium intake, choosing healthy fats, and spending some time in the gym, shedding those pesky pounds always comes back to calories.
To lower the number on the scale, you’ve got to take in less than usual. But just because this seems like a simple formula doesn’t mean it’s an easy one to follow. Weight loss results can be thwarted by cutting too much in the calorie department, cutting too little, or simply not cutting in the right places.
The Magic Number
Daily caloric needs are different for every person so don’t expect your sweet spot to match your workout partner’s or your best friend’s. It’s particular to you and you alone, and that’s because we all have our own Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). According to White, this number can be found with a simple equation: (10 x your weight in kilograms) + (6.25 x your height in centimeters) – (5 x your age in years) – 161. Depending on where you fall in there, he says you could lose one pound of body fat a week if you subtract 500 calories from this number. For example, if you’re a woman whose BMR is 2,000, that’s 14,000 for the entire week. To drop a digit on the scale, you’ll need to drop 500 calories a day and eat a weekly dose of 10,500 instead.
But that doesn’t mean you should be chugging sodas and eating brownies on the regular as long as you fall under this calorie ceiling. All calories are not made equal, and people who eat a low-fat diet lose more weight than those who eat the same calories on a high-fat diet.
Be careful never to let your number drop below 8,400 a week, though. This is the equivalent of only 1,200 calories a day and, according to White, can have the opposite effect on your weight. When you’re not eating enough calories, your metabolism can slow down, you don’t have enough energy for workouts, and you’re more likely to binge eat.