Your calorie intake and energy expelled determines whether you gain weight, lose weight or remain the same. If you eat too many calories, your body stores the excess as body fat. If you eat too few, your body breaks down body fat or muscle to supplement your needs. Eating the right amount to balance calories burned with calories consumed is the ideal, unless you’re trying to lose weight or gain it. Most people want to know how many calories to eat a day to lose weight, but there’s no simple answer. It’s all based on your body and needs.
There is a way to estimate how many calories you require.
Not everyone has the same metabolism or the same level of activity, so the calories each person burns varies. Your weight, sex and body composition make a difference, too. The more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn, if everything else is the same. Consider the extra weight to be similar to carrying weights. The muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn. That’s because muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat tissue does. Your age also factors into the equation. Younger people burn more calories than older people do.
Calculating the calories you need each day should consider all factors.
Height, weight, gender, age and activity level are used to determine how many calories your body requires, yet it’s still an estimate. If you’re the “average” woman age 20-50, you need about 2,000 calories to maintain your weight and 1500 to shed a pound a week, since you’ll lose one pound for every 3500 calorie deficit you experience.
You create a calorie deficit by eating healthy and working out regularly.
While you can’t control your age or gender, you can control your activity level and the amount of muscle you have. Working out regularly improves those things. Eating a diet that’s higher in quality protein can increase your metabolic rate, while also providing satiety throughout the day, so you’ll eat less. Protein boosts you metabolism, since it takes more energy to digest. Studies show a diet higher in protein can increase the calories you burn by as much as 100 calories a day.
- If you’re looking for some easy ways to cut out calories, check out what you drink. Sugary soft drinks, drinks with added sugar, fruit juice and even chocolate milk can pack on the pounds.
- Choose water and plenty of it. Drinking a glass of water can increase the number of calories you burn for as long as 90 minutes, plus it boosts your energy level. Drink it before a meal and you’ll eat less.
- Cut out foods with added sugar and refined carbs. Not only will you increase your energy level over the long haul, you’ll also be healthier and improve your metabolism. When you eat carbs, choose whole foods with fiber.
- Get more exercise and make sure to include strength building. Lifting weights burns tons of calories, while it builds muscle. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism. While other types of exercises, such as cardio, are important, they aren’t as good as strength building for weight loss.
For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness