If you are trying to lose weight, you do not want your calories to go below 1,000 (although I tell my clients 1,200 because 1,000 is WAY too low and you will not have enough energy to perform a workout on that small of caloric intake). Your body will go into starvation mode if you are eating too little.
Websites like 24 Hour Fitness' myapex.com that work in tandem with the bodybugg and other websites like LoseIt.com are excellent food logging resources. They walk you through step by step to calculate your weight, activity level, age and how many calories you should be taking in a day in order to lose. They also show you your percentages of where all your calories are coming from. This is VERY important. Calories for weight loss should be something like 60% carbs, 20%protein and 20% fat or 65%carbs, 20%protein and 15%fat. Even if you are eating your daily allotted caloric intake but your fat is 50% of your calories, you will not reach your goal. Everything works together.
Here is a great tool to calculate how many calories your body needs per day in order to maintain your current weight:
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.
Calculate ActivityStep two: In order to incorporate activity into your daily caloric needs, do the following calculation:
- If you are sedentary : BMR x 20 percent
- If you are lightly active: BMR x 30 percent
- If you are moderately active (You exercise most days a week.): BMR x 40 percent
- If you are very active (You exercise intensely on a daily basis or for prolonged periods.): BMR x 50 percent
- If you are extra active (You do hard labor or are in athletic training.): BMR x 60 percent
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 - in other words create a deficit. If you want to lose 2 lbs per week, each day you must create a deficit based off what your body is taking in. One pound =3500 calories. If your BMR allows for 1500 calories to maintain your current weight, for example, then you need to burn 2,000 total calories per day in order to lose 1 lb per week (500x7=3500.) You can do this by a combination or calorie cutting and excersize or just excersize to create the deficit.
For example: If you wanted to lose 2lbs per week and your BMR allows for 1500 calories to maintain your current weight, you could cut 200 calories from your diet (intake 1300) and burn 2300 total in a day. How can you tell how many calories you burn? Invest in a bodybugg! (Ask me how). They are the smartest calorie burn tracking device on the market and was my number 1 tool when I was losing weight. I simply wear my bodybugg all day, plug it in to my computer at the end of the night and upload my calories burned, enter my food and the system shows me my deficit. It is SO SIMPLE!
It's all just math :-)