So many people turn to silly fad diets when they want to lose weight. They read the hype (lose a stone in one week!) and believe the hype, wasting their money and time on products that don’t help. So I’m glad you’re reading this article. Either you have tried the fad diets and learnt the hard way, or you are just starting out and hopefully about to get it right from the start. I argue that counting calories, having a healthy calorie intake to lose weight, is the only true way to lose real weight (as in fat, not water). And more importantly, it’s the only way to keep the fat off once in the maintenance phase of your diet.
Let me explain.
Why a healthy calorie intake to lose weight is the only way to reach your goals
The average woman requires an average of 2000 calories per day. This energy sustains all bodily functions and physical activity. For a man it’s 2500 calories. Your exact figure is impossible for me to say, as it depends on many different factors, such as your age, height, weight, level of physical activity, fitness level, and so on. However, they are accurate enough for you to work with, to help you lose your excess weight.
What happens if you eat more than these figures, so that you are consuming more food than your body actually requires?
You put on weight! All those excess calories, rather than being burn off to sustain your body, is converted into fat and stored under your skin and around your organs. And here it will remain until it is needed.
I’m afraid to say that, as you have found and are reading this article, this is what you have been doing. You have consistently eaten more than your body needs for a lengthy period of time.
But there is good news! If you were to do the opposite, and consistently consume less than these average daily requirements, then you will lose weight.
This is because, to make up the difference between what you consume and what your body needs to fuel its needs, it will start to eat into your fat stores. It will start to use up your stores of energy! This difference is your calorie deficit.
Does this seem obvious? Of course it does, but so many people know it yet don’t know it. Let me put it another way, more succinctly.
If you burn off more calories than you consume, then you will lose weight.
If you memorize this, live by it consistently, you will gradually and continually lose weight until you reach your ideal weight.
So how many calories should you cut out each day, and what is a health calorie intake to lose weight?
Relating calorie deficit to weight loss
In each pound of your excess weight there is 3500 calories of energy. This means that you need a total calorie deficit of 3500 calories for you to drop 1 pound on the scales. It really is as simple as this.
Spread this over a week, and all you need is a daily 500 calorie deficit to lose 1 pound each week, every week. But you shouldn’t drop your calories by much more than 500 calories. If you do then you will soon feel lethargic and will end up all burnt out. Forgetting the fact that this can actually be dangerous, when you feel like this then no amount of willpower will stop you from stuffing your face with your favourite sweet foods.
So, with a maximum daily calorie deficit of 500 calories, a healthy calorie intake to lose weight would be 1500 calories for women, and 2000 for a men.
Other ways to increase calorie deficit
Just because you shouldn’t cut your calories by more than 500 calories, it doesn’t mean you can’t lose more than a pound per week.
All you have to do is increase your calorie deficit by increasing your physical activity. It’s amazing how many calories you can burn off just by performing some moderate exercise.
A brisk hour’s walk can burn up to 400 calories. Do this a few times each week and you can see how, over the weeks and months, the calories can really mount up. It all mounts up to more weight loss.
Now get off your butt and get moving.