Many factors go into calculating how many calories you should consume each day to lose weight and reach your ideal BMI. These include age, height, weight, activity level, and goals. Reducing the number of calories per day you intake to lower your BMI is only beneficial if you are considered overweight. In doubt, always check with a medical professional.
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Calories per Day for a Healthy BMI: General Guidelines
A general guideline is that women should consume between 1200 and 2000 calories per day and men should consume between 2000 and 2500 calories per day. However, this is a gross consensual estimate, and your specific needs may differ to maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI).
Factors Influencing the Number of Calories Burnt per Day
To lose weight, you need a calorie deficit: you have to burn more calories throughout the day than the number of calories you intake daily. Beyond your overall activity level, hormones (chemicals produced by the body such as thyroid hormones) and medicines (such as glucocorticoids, a type of steroid used to treat inflammation) have a non-negligible direct impact on the number of calories per day you burn. As a result, these factors influence the number of calories per day you should have in your diet.
The Number of Calories to Consume Daily Depends on The Ideal Target Weight You Set for Yourself
A healthy BMI can be a starting point for determining your ideal target weight: use a reverse-BMI calculator for this. Based on this target weight and your current weight, targeting a weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week or about 0.5-1.0 kilogram per week till you reach your target weight is ideal. It is considered a safe rate of weekly weight loss. You can use an online calculator or consult a registered dietitian to calculate how many calories you should consume daily to achieve this weekly weight loss.
Pieces of Advice for Controlling the Number of Calories per Day you Intake
Remember that losing weight requires long-term changes to your diet and lifestyle. Quick-fix diets and fad weight loss programs are not sustainable and can be dangerous. Small but repeated healthy behaviors are much better for reaching your goals and maintaining your health level over the long run.
Choose nutrient-dense foods lower in calories, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. Limit sugary drinks, processed foods, and unhealthy fats. Be sure to get enough sleep, stay hydrated, and exercise regularly. These changes will help you reduce the calories you need daily to feel well and energized, lose weight safely, and keep it off for good.