If you are looking to lose weight then adjusting your diet will give you the best results. Reducing the calories you take daily can help you to realize a weight decrease at the rate of up to 2 pounds per week. However, before you determine how many calories to cut from your diet, you should first determine how many you need to maintain your current weight.
Calorie maintenance level
A calorie maintenance level is the number of calories you should take to maintain your current weight based on your level of physical activity. There are formulas used to get the calorie maintenance level such as the Harris-Benedict equation or the Mifflin-ST Jeor equation.
No need to take out your calculator though since these equations are incorporated in many user-friendly online calculators including our all in one weight loss calculator – where you can just enter your details about age, gender, weight, and daily physical activity or workout routine and the calculator will give you a figure of your calorie maintenance level.
For many adults of average height and body shape, the estimated calorie maintenance level is 2000 calories. This number might vary depending on the person’s daily physical activity.
After getting your daily calorie maintenance level, you can now calculate how many calories you need to take in for you to lose weight. You have to be in a calorific deficit to lose weight. This means that you should consume fewer calories than your daily calorie maintenance level.
A good weight loss plan has the following aims:
· Maximize fat loss
· Prevent muscle loss
· Have a plan that is sustainable and easily manageable
Balancing between these three goals is usually challenging. You have to get a calorific deficit that helps you balance between the three. If you go on a high deficit, you will maximize fat loss, but muscles will also occur, and you won’t be able to sustain the plan for long. A low calorific deficit is easily sustainable and prevents muscle loss. However, you won’t maximize fat loss, and hence you will see very slow results. A moderate deficit works as a compromise on all three goals.
Ideal Calorific Deficit
Most nutrition experts recommend using the moderate deficit plan for a healthy weight loss campaign. The ideal calorific deficit for this program is 20 percent. This means that you should take in 20 percent fewer calories from your daily calorie maintenance level. Therefore, if you find your maintenance level to be 3,000 calories per day, then you should take in 2,400 calories daily.
At this ideal figure, you are estimated to lose an average of 1-2 pounds each week. However, this might not always be the case depending on your body type, and the weight loss might be as little as 0.5 lbs per week. This is still a good amount of weight loss if you are on an easily sustainable diet.
If you wish to lose weight faster, just decrease your calorie intake. However, you should not aim to go past the 2 pound per week mark since it is considered unhealthy and your plan could backfire. It is also possible that you will reach a plateau phase after some time where your weight loss will not be as significant. In such a case, you can decrease your calorie intake if you still wish to lose more weight.
In case you find your diet plan unmanageable, you can increase your calorific intake and follow it up with an increase in your daily workout. The increased exercise should match the increase in calorie intake.