Why Estimate Your Caloric Needs?
(Then, to lose weight, you'll need to cut calories or burn extra calories and shoot for a level lower than the results you get with this formula.)
Calculate Your BMR – Basic Metabolic Rate
Other factors that influence your BMR are height, weight, age and sex.
Step one is to calculate your BMR with the following formula:
655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)
66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)
Please note that this formula applies only to adults.
Add this number to your BMR.
The result of this formula will be the number of calories you can eat every day and maintain your current weight. In order to lose weight, you'll need to take in fewer calories than this result.
Create a Calorie Deficit
So, if you cut back 500 calories a day, you should lose about one pound per week. That said, If you exercise to burn off 500 calories a day you should lose approximately one pound per week. Do both, and ... you get the picture. Ideally, you should do a combination of both, (such as cut back 250 calories; burn an extra 250 calories).
Your weight loss will vary from week to week and at times you may even gain a little weight -- if you're working out you could be developing muscle, which weighs more than fat.
The long-term results are what matters.
Lose at a Healthy Rate
A healthy weight loss goal is to lose .5 to 2 pounds per week. Losing more than 2 pounds per week will mean the weight is less likely to stay off permanently. Never cut back to fewer than 1,200 daily calories without medical supervision.
To find out how you are spending your current calorie intake, keep a detailed food diary for at least one week.
Make the Cut(s)
With careful review, you will find ways to cut back those 250 calories a day: the milk in your cereal ... the can of soda you drink daily ... the butter on your toast.
Making little changes like these will really add up in the long run.
Next, find foods you can do without altogether, reduce portions of, or switch for lower-calorie alternatives.
And guess what? It's easier than you think. Take it one meal at a time. Or even one food at a time. And then, one day at a time.
Tomorrow, trade whole milk for reduced-fat milk The next day, try diet soda instead of regular. Three days in, switch to light wheat bread instead of white. All the calorie-reductions you make (and stick to) will add up in the long run.
Burn it Off!
Becoming more active will knock the remaining 250 calories out. For example, a 180-pound person who walks at a brisk 3 mph will burn just over 250 calories in 45 minutes.
Experts agree that it's easier to exercise than to cut the same number of calories that exercise shaves off. In other words, it's just plain easier for us to be a little more active than to do without more food to achieve the same calorie reduction.