How Many Calories do you Really Need?
Counting and cutting calories seems to be the most common diet advice out there. Some claim that by simply counting your calories you will lose weight while others claim that reducing your daily caloric intake will do the trick. Although these suggestions may work for some, they are focused around the concept of calories. And while there is nothing wrong with this, if you do not understand what a calorie is and how many calories your body needs, these methods will not yield the results you are looking for.
Many people will try to tell you that you should slash your caloric intake or count how many calories you consume. However, if you do not understand what a calorie is and how many calories your body needs, these methods will not give you the results you are looking for.
To help you understand the association between calories and weight loss, we’re going to break this article down into simple, informative sections.
What is a calorie?
Calories are units of energy that comes from eating food. The energy from calories allows our hearts to beat and our brains to function. The problem a lot of people have with calories occurs when they eat too many of them at once. Eating more calories than you should can cause weight gain and weight related medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. To safe guard against these and other medical conditions, you must learn how many calories your body needs.
How many calories do I need?
Now that you know calories are your friend, not you’re enemy— you need to know how many you should consume on a daily basis. Since we are all different—different height, weight and activity level—we all need different amounts of calories for our bodies.
To determine how many calories you need, you should find out what your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is. Based on weight, height, age, gender and activity level, this rate will tell you how many calories you should consume each day to maintain your weight or drop a few pounds. This handy calculator can help you compute your BMR.
Once you have determined your basal metabolic rate, you must decide if you want to lose weight, maintain your weight or gain weight. If you are hoping to maintain your weight, follow the caloric suggestion from your first calculation. If you are hoping to lose weight, set a realistic goal for yourself and start by reducing your the calorie total from your BMR by 500 calories per day. This will result in 3500 fewer calories each week, which, on average, should translate to roughly one pound of weight loss. But remember, this is just the start. Simply cutting calories can yield short term weight loss results, but long term weight loss and management require a lifestyle change to be successful.
BistroMD's Take on Calories
The bistroMD program helps develop healthy eating habits that lead to improvements in overall health, and of course, weight loss. We have found that many people have the most success beginning a healthier lifestyle when provided meals in which the calories and nutritional aspects have already been calculated for them. This allows the individual to focus solely on sticking to the program, and not on what to eat, buy, and cook for themselves.
Every bite you take follows our proven approach for healthy weight loss. Our program provides 1,100-1,400 calories daily with 40-50% total caloric intake from lean, adequate protein, 20-25% of calories from healthy fats, and 30-35% from complex carbohydrates. It is important to note, however, that the calorie range described above is the baseline for the program, and that some people may need to add additional snacks in order to meet their caloric needs for safe and healthy weight loss. For this reason, bistroMD is unique in our industry in that we staff a team of Registered Dietitians who hold college degrees in nutrition and are certified by the state of Florida. Our RDs are always available to our program members as a free resource, and when necessary, will make adjustments to individual members' programs based on their unique needs.
Program members wishing to speak with one of our Registered Dietitians about their program may contact customer service at 866-401-3438, in order to schedule a chat.
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