Losing weight isn’t simple- just eating healthy foods and exercising a bit won’t be enough- you’ve got to do a lot more. To make sure you get the best out of the efforts that you put in, you’ll need to understand your calorie intake.
Once you know how many calories you need throughout the day, you can then take steps to cut down on the number of calories, and also exercise and burn off a few of them to lose weight effectively.
Keep reading to know more about it all.
Why Measure your Caloric Needs?
Measuring your calorie intake will help you determine exactly what strategies you need to apply to reach your weight loss goals. Here’s how to measure your caloric needs.
Calculate your BMR
The BMR, which is short for basal metabolic rate, is nothing but the amount of energy your body needs to function properly. Around 60% of the calories that you consume throughout the day is needed by your body to perform certain basic functions such as breathing. Tracking your BMR will also help you understand your calorie intake, and therefore, make better choices about determining the foods you’d want to consume.
What’s best is the fact that calculating your BMR isn’t very difficult- here’s what you need to follow.
- Women- 655+(4.3 times your weight in pounds)+(4.7 times your height in inches)-(4.7 times your age in years)
- Men- 66+(6.3 times your weight in pounds)+(12.9 times your height in inches)-(6.8 times your age in years)
Understand your Activity
In order to calculate your daily caloric needs correctly, you will now need to also incorporate the amount of calories used for your daily physical activity or exercise. This can be calculated as follows-
- If you are less active- your BMR*30 percent
- If you are moderately active- your BMR*40 percent
- If you are very active- your BMR*50 percent
- If you work hard- your BMR*60 percent
- If you follow a sedentary lifestyle- your BMR*20 percent
The number you obtain is to be added to your BMR, and the number that you finally get, will be the total number of calories you can consume everyday to maintain your current weight. If you are aiming to lose weight, you will either need to lower the number of calories you need, or by increasing your physical activity.
Look Up an Online Resource
If you don’t really have the time to calculate your BMR and go through all the math, you can easily calculate your calorie requirement by accessing some simple tools available on online resources. Many health websites have a calorie calculator- you could simply enter details like your age, height, weight and gender to have your roughly estimated calorie intake calculated.
Make sure you get it done on a website that is credible and known enough.
Read Nutritional Labels
Reading nutritional labels on the food packs that you purchase can help you understand the number of calories per serving, which will then help you understand what serving size suits you best if you’re keen on following your diet plan. Most of the time, serving sizes mentioned on the pack are larger than you actually need- because processed foods tend to pack in a lot of calories.
This is why, it is recommended that you limit your consumption of processed and packaged foods to lose weight effectively.
Ask for Information
When dining out, make sure you ask your server about the nutritional content, especially the approximate calorie content of every dish you’re being served. You can then make decisions about the portions and make sure you don’t exceed your daily calorie requirement even when you are dining out.
Use a Food Scale
Making sure that you get the required amount of calories through the food that you eat is easy- just make sure you have a food scale ready, and measure out the ingredients in the appropriate amounts only.
Consider Muscle-Fat Ratio
What most people forget when it comes to calculating their caloric needs is the fact that the muscle-fat ratio needs to be considered too. More muscular bodies tend to need more calories than their counterparts. If you’re not sure what category you fall into, get help from a nutritionist.