The last time I was here I gave you a background on diets and what it actually means to eat healthy versus the latest fad diet. That’s all well and good but in continuation, how does one actually go about this whole seemingly complicated process. Well, a little bit of hard work is in order, but I promise you, after the initial bit of effort it does get easier.
How Many Calories do We Need? Let us do some basic Math.
Calculating the amount of calories you need to consume is totally individual. The best option if you’re starting out is to find a calculator online, which will give you numbers based on typical algorithms using your current weight, height, age, gender etc. In general, the recommended calorie deficit is not more than 500 – 700 calories per day, though this could vary a little.
This means that if your current calorie maintenance level (the number of calories you need to maintain your current body weight) is 2500 per day, you should eat 2000 per day. That takes your weekly calorie deficit to 3500 (500×7), which according to standard calculations equals 1 lb or 0.5 kg of weight loss per week. If you are close to your recommended ideal weight (within 5kg), I suggest creating a still smaller calorie deficit of around 200-300 calories only.
It is literally dangerous to your health if you restrict your calorie intake drastically. Remember what I said earlier about how your body burns calories just to make all your organs function. This is the reason why anorexia can be life-threatening. When the body is deprived of sufficient nutrients over time, the organs can actually suffer and even fail in the long run.
For women, it is recommended to eat no less than 1200 calories per day and for men not less than 1500 per day. And, even that I would say is less than the average person should consume, unless you’re a very tiny, old, inactive lady who needs only the bare minimum to function! So don’t use 1200 as a baseline regardless of your current size and activity level, most likely you need to eat significantly more than that even if you’re on a deficit.