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How many calories to lose weight, or how many calories should I eat to lose weight are questions that pop up often in gyms and diet groups. We all know that we need burn more energy than we take in if we want to lose weight. We also know that all calories are not the same and that it’s more important to be careful of what you eat than how much you eat. Sugary drinks, fast food and junk food will all lead to weight gain and poor health even when eaten in similar quantities as healthier foods.

How Many Calories To Lose Weight

Some people like to count calories as a way to lose weight because they feel it is easier to control something when you keep track of it. If keeping track of calories works for you or if it helps keep you motivated, that’s great. You should keep doing anything that helps you get on track and stay on track to lose weight.

How Many Calories Should I Eat To Lose Weight

There are several formulas that are available to help you understand how many calories you need every day and answer the question: how many calories should I eat to lose weight? The BMR calculator at the top of this page combines three commonly used calculators. Just select the BMR option in the left column under menu/calculate and follow the instructions below:

How To Use The BMR Calculator

  1. Click BMR in the left menu column
  2. Select your sex and preferred measure system under Gender and Metric System
  3. Enter your age, weight and height
  4. Select your activity level and press calculate

The BMI (body mass index) provides an indication of your overall body composition and fat. The BMR (basal metabolic rate) is an estimate of the amount of energy your body requires to perform its normal vital functions at rest.

Your BMR and estimated daily calorie requirement are shown at the top of the blue box just below the calculate button (TDEE – total daily energy expenditure) . Your BMI and any notes you made are immediately below that. You can keep track of your results as well as any notes you made at the time if you log in first.

The estimated daily calorie requirement is an estimate of how many calories you need to maintain your current body weight. To lose weight, you either need to reduce your calorie intake or increase your level of activity or both.

How Many Calories To Lose Weight

This chart provides a ballpark figure of how many calories you can burn during 30 minutes of various activities. You can see that heavier people burn more calories for any given activity as the body weight goes up. Keep in mind these are only ballpark figures because the intensity of activity, the level of conditioning and personal metabolism all influence actual results.

Activity @ 130 lbs @ 155 lbs @ 180 lbs @ 205 lbs @ 230 lbs
Walking @ 3.5 mph 112 134 156 177 197
Running @  6mph 295 352 409 466 510
Swimming (moderate) 118 141 164 186 205
Climbing stairs 266 317 368 419 470
Shoveling snow 177 211 245 294 340
Stationary cycle (moderate)
207 247 288 326 360
Weight lifting (light) 89 106 123 140 157
Weight lifting (heavy) 177 211 245 279 315
Calisthenics 104 123 143 163 183
Circuit training 236 282 327 373 425
Rowing machine (moderate) 207 247 286 326 365

How Many Calories Should I Eat To Lose Weight

Generally speaking, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you consume to lose one pound. To lose one pound a week, you would need to consume 500 calories less a day over the course of the week. You could do this by reducing calorie intake alone or by using a combination of fewer calories and more exercise or a higher level of activity during the day.

For example, you could reduce calories by 300 a day and increase your daily activity to burn an additional 200 calories per day. This should result in a weight loss of about one pound per week.

Remember that eating less is not the only way, nor is it the best way to reduce your calorie intake. You are much better off to eat different rather than less. For example, rather than eat only one muffin for breakfast, instead of the usual two muffins, you would be much better off to eat an omelet.

How Many Calories To Lose Weight – Food Choices

This section contains information about some of the different food choices you can make and it gives you an idea of how many calories are contained in some of the meal choices you make every day. Once you’ve calculated how many calories you need using the BMR tool at the top of this page, you can see how easily one or two bad food choices add up over a week and how those extra calories turn into extra pounds rather quickly.

I am sectioning this into breakfast, lunch and dinner choices and I’ve bolded a healthier food choice that you could make at home at the beginning of each section. Planning for and cooking larger meals is a good habit. You will always have leftovers and that gives you something better to eat even when you are pressed for time or don’t feel like cooking.

You can lose a lot of weight quickly if you take control of what goes in your food, and you can do it without cutting portion sizes too!

Item Total Calories % Carbohydrate % Fat % Protein
2 egg omelett – homemade 187 2 71 27
McDonald’s Bacon ‘N Egg McMuffin 320 38 42 20
Tim Hortons Bacon Breakfast Sandwich 330 40 40 20
Second Cup Breakfast Sandwich 351 31 41 28
Starbucks Bacon, Egg, Gouda Sandwich 350 35 46 19
Chicken and vegetable stir fry – homemade (1 cup) 186 14 49 37
McDonald’s McChicken sandwich 470 37 49 14
Tim Hortons Tuscan Chicken Panini 560 42 34 24