Calories can be confusing when it comes to weight loss. Sometimes we’re told to count them, other times to ignore them, and the advice about our calorie needs can be contradictory. However, having a basic understanding of calorie intake is crucial for weight loss success. If you’re still unsure about how calories play a role in shedding pounds, here’s an easy way to determine the number of calories you need to achieve your goals.
Calculating Calorie Needs
For most people, especially those who are moderately active. A daily calorie intake of at least 1200 to 1400 calories is necessary for effective weight loss. If you engage in an hour or more of daily exercise, adding an extra 200-300 calories to your daily intake can still lead to a significant calorie deficit. However, if you don’t see a weight loss of at least 0.5 kilograms per week. You may need to reevaluate your calorie intake and ensure you’re getting enough physical activity with an elevated heart rate.
Quality over Quantity
The “calorie deficit theory” might lead some to believe that drastically cutting calories to as low as 500, 800, or 1000 would result in greater deficits and faster weight loss. Severely reducing calories below the body’s minimum requirement can cause a reduction in metabolic rate as the body tries to protect itself from starvation, which will slow down it.
Exercise and Caloric Should Balance
Excessively high levels of exercise without adequate calorie intake can also hinder weight loss. For instance, if someone tightly controls their calorie intake while engaging in intense exercise, a discrepancy of more than 600-800 calories between calories consumed and calories expended might hinder consistent it.
Beware of Extreme Diets
Diets that recommend extremely low-calorie intakes like 500 or 800 calories might lead to initial weight loss, but they are challenging to maintain and can ultimately reduce metabolic rate over time. This makes it harder to sustain it, leading to weight regain once the extreme diet is no longer followed.
The Balanced Approach
It’s essential to adopt a balanced approach to weight loss. Rather than resorting to extreme calorie restriction, focus on burning calories through regular exercise. Extreme diets that deplete muscle mass due to severe calorie cuts are not sustainable in the long run. Opt for healthier and more manageable strategies to achieve lasting it.
About the Author
Susie Burrell is a prominent Australian dietitian and nutritionist. She is the founder of Shape Me, co-host of The Nutrition Couch podcast, and a respected media spokesperson. Susie regularly appears in print and television media to provide expert commentary on diet, weight loss, and nutrition topics.