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Home > Dieting for Weight Loss

How to Calculate Calorie Intake

If you're trying to lose unhealthy and unattractive extra weight, you need to know how to calculate your calorie intake. But before you do that, it helps to know what a calorie actually is. A calorie is simply a unit of energy. The more calories that a food or beverage contains, the more potential energy it contains. One gram of carbohydrates contains 4 calories. One gram of protein contains 4 calories. Fat, on the other hand, contains 9 calories per gram. These three elements are essential to human health. If you know how many grams of protein, carbs and fat something contains, you can easily calculate the number of calories. Most of today's foods and beverages print calorie count, as well as other nutritional information, on the package.

Calculating Calorie Intake

When it comes to calculating your calorie intake, you'll need to do some math. The first thing you'll need to know is your BMR. Your BMR is a figure stating how much energy your body actually needs to work properly. To figure out your BMR, first multiply your weight in pounds by 4.35. Next, multiply your height in inches by 4.7. Add these two figures together. Now, multiply your age by 4.7 and subtract it from the total you just figured out. This number is your BMR.

How Many Calories Do You Need?

To figure out how many calories you need to maintain your current weight, you'll need to figure out your level of activity. Are you sedentary, lightly active, moderately active, or highly active? If you are sedentary, multiply your BMR by 1.2. If you are lightly active, multiply your BMR by 1.375. If you are moderately active, multiply your BMR by 1.55. If you are highly active, multiply your BMR by 1.725. The number you come up with is the amount of calories necessary to maintain your current weight.

Cutting Calories

If you want to lose weight, you'll need to consume fewer calories than the total you just figured out. It's important not to cut too many calories, because your body needs them to survive. Simply cutting out 500 calories a day and adding cardiovascular exercise to your routine can help you lose one to two pounds per week. Slow and steady weight loss is always preferable to fast, dramatic weight loss as it is much healthier. Always consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. He or she can also help you figure out how many calories you should be consuming for good health and weight loss.

Reducing Calorie Intake

When it comes to reducing your calorie intake, there are lots of easy ways to do so. Try choosing low fat versions of foods like milk, yogurt and cheese. Go for poultry or fish instead of red meat whenever possible. Even reducing portion sizes can help you dramatically reduce the number of calories consumed. Beverages are often sources of empty calories. By reducing your soft drink and alcohol intake, you can definitely lower the calorie count in your diet. Both soft drinks and alcoholic beverages contain lots of calories, and eliminating or reducing consumption of these items can help you reach your goals.

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