You should eat less than what your body needs for cell repair and to burn for energy if you want to lose weight. On the other hand, if you eat more than your body actually needs, the excess food can be stored as muscle, but more often it is stored as fat.
However, counting calories can make it easier to lose weight during your diet. In case you know which food contains a high amount of calorie you can avoid it and choose lower-calorie food which allows you to lose weight and satisfy your requirements for nutrition.
The number of calories which you need depends on the level of activity and size of your body.A small person requires fewer calories than a large person, a sedentary person requires fewer calories than an active person, and women require fewer calories than men.
The Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), the minimum amount of energy required when resting, can be calculated using the Mifflin-St Jeor equations. These equations require the age in years, the height in centimeters, and the weight in kilograms. In order to estimate the daily calorie requirements, the BMR has to be multiplied by an activity factor.
For men: BMR = 10×weight + 6.25×height – 5×age + 5
For women: BMR = 10×weight + 6.25×height – 5×age – 161
You have to calculate the calorie requirements for your body which you would like to have, once you have calculated your current calorie requirements. The target weight should be such that your BMI (Body Mass Index) falls within the normal range of 18.5 to 24.9. Since one pound of body fat equals about 3.500 calories, a reduction of 50 calories per day will cause the loss of one pound of weight in 70 days. By reducing the calories further, weight loss can be accelerated.
However, a diet shouldn’t reduce intake below 1.300 calories per day, since such diets aren’t sustainable and it can be very hard to obtain all the necessary nutrients with very low-calorie diets. In addition, your body can go into starvation mode and also decrease your BMR. If your BMR is decreased, weight loss will reduce.
This also has the unfortunate consequence that you’ll gain weight faster when you overeat since you will be eating more excess calories above your new BMR, which is now lower. When you choose a diet for yourself make sure that it can be maintained for many months or even years until you establish healthy eating habits.
Your daily calorie intake shouldn’t be reduced below 15% of the calories required by your target weight and activity level. The rate of weight loss will decrease as your body weight decreases. You can increase your calories gradually when you approach your target weight until you reach a maintenance level.
You have to figure out how many calories are in the food which you eat, once you know how many calories you need in order to achieve your target weight. The best way to do this is by reading labels on the food you buy. There are many scales and software that weight and track nutritional intake for many foods. This can make your life much easier.
All you have to do is find the name of the food and the scale calculates the protein, fiber, cholesterol, fat and calories based on the weight. The scale can also store in its memory many foods in order to keep a record of what you have eaten.