How To Set Your Daily Calorie Requirement For Weight Loss

 I realized recently that I didn’t know what it took to lose a pound and since I currently set a challenge on myself to lose 20 pounds, it was finally time to find out.

So here is the basic info for you in case you aren’t sure what it takes.

First of all, to lose 1 pound you must burn 3,500 calories.  This can be done through eating less or exercising more.  People find the most success by eating less or eating healthier and exercising.  I can attest that the combination of diet and exercise works best for me.

Anyway, A reasonable goal for weight loss is to lose half a pound to 1 pound per week.  Any faster than this is not recommended.  To lose say, 1 pound per week, we must burn 3,500 calories.  The easiest way to do this is to burn about 500 calories a day. 

Personally, I find it easiest to eat 300 fewer calories each day and to burn 200 calories each day by exercising.  If you keep this up you should lose a pound a week.

Now, for starters you need to find out what your personal caloric requirements are.  This varies widely depending on your daily activity level, age, height, weight, gender, and metabolism. 

Click here to find out your daily calorie requirement with this handy calculator.  (May not get you an exact figure but, you’ll be close enough).

Once you’ve done that, if you want to do what I’m doing, you want to subtract 300 from that number.  Then, each day, count calories and shoot for that number of calories.  If you want to lose 1 pound per week, stick to that calorie amount and exercise enough each day to burn 200 calories.  You could instead, eat 200 fewer calories per day and with exercise burn 300 calories each day-if this appeals more to you.

This is just an example.  You can of course, go much slower than this and I urge you to go at a rate that is comfortable to you.  If you currently consume many more calories than what you should, cut back very slowly so you don’t have to feel hunger-this will only backfire on you. 

Helpful tips:

Cut back on any processed foods and instead, fill your appetite with vegetables and protein like fish and chicken and beef.  If you buy organic beef you will be consuming a good amount of CLA.  CLA is conjugated linoleic acid.  This helps your body burn fat!  So no need to forego red meat, just get organic red meat.  If you can, try to get organic chicken.  (I realize these are pricier so just do what you can). 

Remember a calorie isn’t a calorie.  They say it is in many places I’ve read but, more and more of us are beginning to realize that 100 calories from your olive oil sauteed veggies is not equivalent to the 100 calories from your chocolate chip cookie.  Focus on consuming mostly good calories. 

Here is a helpful grocery list of really healthy foods to consider when making your next trip.  Make sure you don’t go to the grocery store hungry! 

If you are a guy (or girl) you may be interested in reading the article:  How to lose 20 pounds of fat in 30 days! by Timothy Ferris, author of The 4 Hour Work Week.  He also tells you on his blog how he gained 34 pounds of muscle in just 4 weeks and he posts before and after pictures to prove it!  Check it out here: From Geek to Freak.

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