Healthy Calorie Intake To Lose Weight

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.

Calorie Deficit

What Is Calorie Deficit?

Calorie deficit is the key to weight loss. Regardless of all the hype surrounding miracle fad diets, the only true way to lose weight (as in fat, not water) is to ensure that your calories are in deficit. But what does this mean? For you to be in calorie deficit you must burn more calories than you eat. You must reduce your calorie intake to lose weight. For example, let’s say you burn 2000 calories in a day (this is the average daily calorie intake for women) and you only consume 1500 calories of food, then you will be 500 calories in deficit. This means, to make up the 500 calorie shortfall, your body will have to literally eat in to your fat stores beneath your skin and around your organs. If you were 700 calories or 1000 calories in deficit, it would be just the same. Your body will have to attack your fat stores to make up the difference. Sure you have to eat the right foods. You can’t eat 1500 calories of chocolate or cake every day and expect to lose weight. Yet, if you cut the right calories from your diet, if you eat the right foods, foods that mobilize your fat then it really is that simple.

There is more than one way to calorie deficit

Cutting calories is the obvious way to ensure your calories are in deficit. Eat less, consume less calories, lose weight. Whether you want to lose a stone or 5 stone, maintaining a consistent deficit is the only way. But what other ways to deficit are there? Now you have the key to weight loss, you just need the door. And NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis, is one of these doors! What on earth is NEAT, you ask? It is a scientific, geeky way of saying if you get off your backside and move around you will burn a whole load of extra calories. A good example of increasing your NEAT is to stand up and move around the room whilst you are on the phone. Think how many hours we all spend each month on the phone. For some of you, I expect this can run in to dozens of hours! You can burn up to 3 times more calories simply standing up and pacing as opposed to sitting down, so think how many extra calories you could burn off. It will literally propel your calorie deficit. If you get the bus to and from work, jump off a stop or two earlier and walk the rest of the way. Or take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. Do more gardening. Do more house work (yeah, it actually burns calories, so there is no excuse).

And for Quick weight loss…

The final method to ensure your calories are in deficit is good old exercise. The greater your calorie deficit the quicker your weight loss, and exercise will really boost your deficit through through the roof. If you do the right kind of exercise, you can even burn 1000 calories every training session. You can watch the weight literally fall off! You do not have to perform strenuous and vigorous exercise. Just moderate exercise will do. An hour’s brisk walk can burn up to 400 calories, at about 100 calories per mile. If you can add this to your lifestyle 3 or 4 times each week, then you will really notch up your calorie deficit. Of course, there is nothing stopping you doing vigorous exercise. But start off easily and build up. The last thing you want to do is cause yourself an injury then never want to exercise again.

A summary of your calorie deficit

You need not employ all these methods to ensure your calories are in deficit. Any one of these ways will help you lose weight. However, taking advantage of each, consistently, every single day, would increase the rate at which you lose weight. The more you are in deficit, the faster the weight loss. There is one caveat with regard to cutting calories though. You should not cut calories by more than 500 or 600 calories per day. Especially if you use NEAT and physical exercise to increase your deficit. If you cut back on your food by more than this, you will only suffer with lethargy, and eventually burn out. If this happens, nothing in the world, no amount of willpower, will stop you stuffing a load of high calorie food down you throat.

Determine how much weight you need to lose

Do you know how much excess weight you are carrying? You can use the BMI calculator as a guide, to help you determine how much fat you need to lose and roughly how long it will take you to lose it. It has its limitations, but for the most of us it is a handy tool to determine whether we are overweight.

Benefits of Aerobic Exercise

To understand the benefits of aerobic exercise we should first give a thought to the question what is aerobic activity?

Aerobic activity or aerobic exercise is basically any activity that is of relatively low intensity and that employs the aerobic energy system. That might sound a little complicated or ambiguous, but I’ll break it down further. There are two energy systems we use: the aerobic energy system and the anaerobic energy system. without all the jargon, aerobic means with oxygen and anaerobic means without oxygen. So aerobic activity uses oxygen in its energy production for prolonged activity. That’s the key here…prolonged activity. This means the activity has to be low intensity. If it were very high intensity activity, then we wouldn’t be able to breath and consume oxygen quick enough, and we would have to employ the anaerobic energy system. But this system is only efficient for very quick bursts of activity, which generally only lasts a few seconds. We want aerobic activity for at least a 20 minute workout, or sometimes much more! Now this answers the question what is aerobic activity so what about the benefits of aerobic exercise?

The Benefits of Aerobic Exercise, And Why You Should Add Aerobic Exercise Routines To Your Lifestyle

Let’s just clear up a common misconception regarding the definition of aerobics. Many believe that aerobics refers solely to aerobic type classes whereby somebody stands at the front of a class performing some sort of dance routine for everyone to follow along. This is one type of aerobics, but it’s not the definition of aerobics. Aerobics refers to any exercise that uses the aerobic energy system discussed above, such as running, jogging, cycling, etc. Now we’ve cleared that up we can discuss the benefits of aerobics… For starters, aerobic exercise is great for helping control your weight. Combined with a healthy diet, there is no other method that comes close to exercise for shedding excess fat or maintaining a healthy weight. It’s all about burning excess calories.

Then there’s the stress relief you get from exercise. Performing any physical activity releases endorphins which are the feel good chemicals produced by your own body. This is a fact and should be a good enough reason on its own to get your fitness gear on and get moving (after finishing this article, of course!). There’s also the cardiovascular benefits, that is for your heart, lungs, and vascular system. You heart is a muscle, so the more you work it and put it under the right kind of aerobic stress the stronger it gets. If you have a strong heart, the more you will be able to do! And finally, probably the best reason in this list of benefits of aerobic exercise, is the whole range of direct health benefits. Research has shown that regular exercise reduces your risk of contracting many diseases and illnesses, such as heart disease, certain cancers, and osteoporosis to name only a few. The health benefits of aerobic exercise is a topic all of its own and could take up a thousand web pages. I think you get the idea with the few examples above!

If you really get into your fitness there are a couple of good aerobic fitness tests to monitor your aerobic endurance. These are the Cooper Run and the Bleep Test. The Cooper Run involves (after a thorough 10 minute warm up) a 12 minute run where you run as far as you can. You should record the distance as accurately as you can. Basically, the fitter you get over time, the further you’ll be able to run in your 12 minutes. This takes a bit of getting used to, as you need to judge your capability. There’s a fine line between maximum aerobic exercise and crossing over into anaerobic exercise territory. The second aerobic fitness test, the Bleep Test, is my personal favourite. To perform this test you need to set out a 20 meter marker on flat terrain to run between. Also, you need a bleep CD or tape with the pre-recorded bleeps. These bleeps get progressively faster and your aim is to reach the 20 meter marker on time with the bleep. When you can no longer keep up with the bleep the test is over. The idea is, the fitter you become the more of these 20 meter intervals you will be able to perform.

List of Aerobic Activities

So what are the good aerobic exercise? The list of aerobic activities below will give you an idea of how to improve your fitness. There are many aerobic activities you can perform, all with different levels of intensity. You just need to get your heart and lungs going. Very low intensity exercise can be anything from a gentle stroll in the park to some digging in your back garden. At the other end of the scale, high intensity exercise could include running and cycling. But have a look at the following list of aerobic activities for some ideas.






Step Aerobics

Water Aerobics


Hill Walking


Circuit training

Aerobic DVDs

And so on… Now that you know all the benefits of aerobic exercise, and if you are ready to start incorporating aerobic exercise into your health and fitness routine, take a look at the growing list of free workout plans and aerobic exercise routines. There’s something there for everyone and the list is only getting longer!