How To Calculate Your Caloric Needs
Losing weight can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you aren’t sure how many calories you should be eating. Many of us make the mistake of eating too much or too little, which can stall weight loss altogether. So how exactly do you find that calorie sweet spot?
Well thankfully, it’s not as hard as it may seem. There are a few basic ways to calculate your caloric needs, starting with BMR. So how many calories should you eat in order to lose weight? What are calories and where do they come from?
1. What Are Calories and Where Do They Come From?
The term calories is thrown around a lot, but what does it actually mean? Well, in short, a calorie is a unit that measures energy. Calories are usually used to measure the energy content of foods and beverages. So in order to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than your body burns each day.
Pretty simple right? So if you eat fewer calories than your body burns, does it really matter where those calories come from? Well in a way, it does matter where those calories come from.
You need to make sure you are fueling your body with the right amount of macros- protein, carbs, and fat. For example, you may have hit your calorie limit for the day but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve hit your macros.
That’s why it’s so important to focus on both your macros and your calories. You have to make sure you are fueling your body with the right nutrients!
2. Using BMR
A good place to start when trying to figure out your caloric needs is by using a BMR calculator. A BMR calculator will determine the number of calories your body burns each day to perform its basic functions. Basically, the number of calories your body burns at rest.
The easiest way to figure out your BMR is by using an online calculator or fitness app. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when calculating your BMR.
Firstly, your caloric needs can be calculated with a few different equations. These equations include the revised Harris-Benedict equation and the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation. These are basic equations used to calculate BMR for the average person.
3. Calculating Your Caloric Intake
Now that we’ve got our BMR, we can start calculating our caloric intake. Now we need to convert our BMR into TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure). This new calculation accounts for the calories you need to walk, exercise, etc.
To calculate your TDEE, you need to multiply your BMR by your estimated energy levels:
Now that we have these numbers, we have to adjust them based on our goals. For example, if you wanted to gain weight, you would want to eat more than your TDEE. To lose weight, you would want to eat less than your TDEE.
The Caloric Intake Takeaway
All in all, calculating your caloric intake is not as difficult as it may seem. As long as you make sure to properly track what you eat and stay within your calorie limits, losing weight will be an achievale goal.
We know that your nutrition is not an individual concept that can be addressed alone. We treat our clients holistically and coach each individual according to their own unique set of circumstances and needs. If you are interested or just want to learn more about our Lifestyle coaching programs, contact us or visit our FAQ for any questions!