There is absolutely no healthier way one can burn off those heavy belly fat, without creating a calories deficit. The fact is, whether you want to gain weight or lose weight, it depends on how you balance your daily calorie consumption with the number of calories your body burns. So, how much calorie per day should I consume to lose weight and get a skinny and healthier body size? 500 calories? 1000 calories? Or 2000 calories? There’s no single value, however, your daily calorie requirements to slim your body actually depends on your weight, height, gender, health status and more. It is not easy to count calories, but if you must create calorie deficit for help in rapid weight loss, you must reduce your calories intakeby 1000-2000 calories per day.
If you’re overweight or obese, a good weight calculator may suggest wide range of calorie that is more personalised to your needs.
Your daily physical activity also matters. If you’re active and athletic, perhaps because its your job or you do a lot of fitness exercise, you will require more calories to maintain a healthy weight.
People with sedentary lifestyle, do very little physical activity may need fewer calories.
You calorie needs
You must be eating and exercising in a caloric deficit to lose weight. How much calorie deficit you create depends on how many calories per day you should consume. This is how the mathematics goes,
Caloric deficit = your daily calorie needs – calories you take in
How to create calorie deficit
There are absolutely two ways to create a caloric deficit. One way is by eating food that’s low in calories, and the other is through exercises.
1.Eat low caloric foods
Your daily energy expenditure comes from the metabolizing the food you consume. Research show that about 90% of your daily calories needs comes from what you eat.
So if you want to create deficiency in calorie supplied, you must eat food that is low (but not empty) in calories. The point I am making is you reduce your calorie intake, so that you won’t be able to supply up to the 90% required.
For healthy adults, a calorie restriction to 1,000 – 1200 calories per day is enough to get you a skinny healthier body.
Just a small calorie reductions is enough to promote sustainable weight loss.
You might wonder what ways are there to consume less calories per day. We got your back, here is how to limit your calorie intake by dieting.
- Eat low calorie food
- Use smaller plates or eat less
- Avoid added sugars or sugar drinks
- Eat more protein
- Reduce taking beverages
- Eat only high fiber foods
- Eat low carb foods
- Eliminate eating refined carb(processed foods)
- Drink more water
- Do not snack after meals
- Eat more vegetables, fruits
- Don’t eat frequently in a day
- Reduce your appetite(feeling of hunger)
You need to reduce calories to lose weight, but you don’t need to completely empty yourself of calories. It can lead to nutritional deficiency if you drastically deprive yourself of calories.
Also, you may start having serious metabolic problems in a long terms if you limit calorie consumption completely in your meals. So You still need a certain, minimum amount of calories to provide your body with energy and nutrients it needs.
That is why health experts recommend just a small calorie reduction for a sustainable weight loss journey. You just need to avoid taking calorie-free foods (empty-calorie diet), rather, you should go for or shift your lifestyle to a low-calorie diet.
2. Do regular Exercises
Fitness activities, or exercises are energy demanding. Your body needs energy to keep you going, maintain a functional and active body system when you are working out. Almost all that calories your body unfailingly needs to burn during activities comes from your diets.
Depending on the activity level, if your cardio workout (say running on treadmill) requires more calories than your diet can supply, you have successfully created a caloric deficit. A better way to make your exercise burn more calories is to increase the intensity, or you exercise for long.
Do aerobic – cardio exercises
Cardio exercises help to elevate your heart rate, and at a certain point, your body starts burning more calories to fuel activity, distribute oxygen to your entire body. Here are some exercises using cardio machines, that increases your heart rate and burns calories.
Do Strength training workouts
Strength training exercises like lifting a kettlebell, tones your muscles, and causes them to hunger for calories.
- Resistance training
- Weight lifting (with dumbbells, kettlebells)
Combining the two exercises in your weekly workout routine results in an incredible amount of calories burned in a week. The surprising truth is, strength training will even help you continue to burn more calories several hours after you’ve finish your training or activity.
Read more: Is cardio every safe?
How the calorie deficit helps you lose weight
Combining exercise and dieting is the key to shedding those belly fat and losing weight in a long term.
Let us use a simple analogy here. Exercises burn calories, while dieting supplies the calories. If your daily fitness activities burns 3600 calories, normally, your body expect to get this amount from your food.
If you limit your meals to supply on 1200 calories per day, therefore your body needs 2400 more calories to meet up with the daily energy expenditure. Where will this energy come from?
The lay explanation is that, since your muscles during the activity, are hungry for energy and keep you going, your body will turn elsewhere for more energy.
The only source of energy left for your body system is the fat stored under your skin. Your chunky belly, your big arms, the chubby thighs, large muscular legs and fat butts, all look heavy because they’re packed with stored fat(energy reserve).
Your body will remove stored fat, burn it to supply the remaining 2400 calories it required. The more the fat is removed and burned, the more you lose muscle size and the skinnier you get.
Several pounds of fat burned, can cause observable decrease in your body size by many inches. In the long term, massive flesh around the face, butts, waistline, belly, arms, fingers, thighs and legs will shrink in the weight loss.
Eat less calories, if you want to create a calorie deficit for a support a sustainable weight loss. That’s, you should avoid dieting on high-calorie foods and snacks.
Eat more calories and create a calorie surplus if you want to grow muscles, or gain weight healthily. That’s, you go for a high calorie foods like full fat yogurts, fatty fish and nuts.
You should meet a dietitian to guide on your appropriate calorie needs and meal plans that’ll satisfy your objective.
How much calories do I eat to lose weight?
Here is how many calories you should eat, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
1. Men’s calorie per day to lose weight
Men need more calories per day than women. Here is range of calories per day a man needs to maintain his weight.
Younger men from 19–30 years 2,400–3,000 calories per day
Older Adult men from 31–59 years 2,200–3,000 calories per day
Senior men from 60+ years 2,000–2,600 calories per day
A man in his youthful age between 19 and 30 years, according to the Dietary guideline has a higher daily calorie intake of about 2400 – 3000 calories per day. You know, they are active, adventurous, and powerful.
As a man gets older into the middle age group 31-59 years, the daily amount drops to 2200-3000 calories per day to maintain their body weight and functions.
An old man over 60 years still requires more energy than a middle age woman. He needs about 2000-2600 calories per day to maintain his weight.
All these numbers will just look different depending on the health status, body weight, body size( and height) and the activity levels of the man.
Women’s calories per day to lose weight
How many calories should a woman eat a day to lose weight? Below is the daily calories women need to maintain their weight.
Girls from 19–30 years 2,000–2,400 calories required per day
Adult women from 31–59 years 1,800–2,200 calories required per day
Senior ladies from 60+ years 1,600–2,000 calories required daily
From the table, you see that younger women from 19 years to 30 require the highest 2000-2400 calories per day because they are more active and youthful.
The middle age group or women, from 31 to 59 years require a reduced calorie in the range 1800-2200 calories in a day.
Mothers, grandmother and adult ladies over 60 years require fewer calories around 1600-2000 calories per day.
Your daily calorie intake may fall far above this numbers depending on whether you are a woman with active lifestyle, or not.
Also, the number of calories per day for a plus size, tall, and heavy lady can double these numbers.
Old and aging women with sedentary lifestyle may even have far less than the minimum calories in the range you see above.
It is no doubt that a pregnant woman or a breastfeeding mother needs more than the numbers supplied above.
3. Children calories per day
Children, whether boy or girl has their own daily calorie needs, which almost competes with those for women.
Toddler/Babies 2-4 years
Male: 1,000–1,600 calories per day
Female: 1,000–1,400 calories per day
Younger Children 5-8 years
Boys: 1,200–2,000 calories per day
Girls: 1,200–1,800 calories per day
Pre-teens and teenagers : 9-13 years
Boys: 1,600–2,600 calories per day
Girl : 1,400–2,200 calories per day
Teens 14-18 years
Boys: 2,000–3,200 calories per day
Girls: 1,800–2,400 calories per day
Look and you’ll find that a 3-year-old toddler requires about 1200 calories per day to maintain body activity and weight. This is slightly less than the requirement for elderly women over 60 years.
All in all, it is vital for adults to count their calories for the purpose of losing weight. That should be same for overweight children on a weight loss journey.
But if your child has normal weight, encourage them to eat healthier foods, packed with nutrients, and do light exercises. If your child is already playful, that is enough to replace fitness exercises for kids.
Planning your calorie intake per day
1. Breakfast calories
How much calories should I eat at breakfast? Some people eat the greatest portion of food in morning hours of the day. If that is the case with you, make sure the breakfast meals supply about 25-50 % of your calorie needs in the day. It just depends on you as an individual.
2. Lunch and Dinner Calories
If you eat light serving in the morning, certainly, your hunger at lunch will be wild. In that case you would want to take a large lunch portion with more calories intake.
The fraction of calories here just depends whether you have had your breakfast or not and how much did you eat then.
Some people are just workaholic and they may not have the chance for lunch except coffee. That case is unique, people with such lifestyle may take in the highest amount of the calories per day in the evening.
Is there a free app to count calories?
YES, there are many apps that you can install in your smartphone or smart watch, even for free. If you like, you can go for some premium, paid calorie counter apps.
What is the best calorie counter app?
Here are best free apps to track calories per day
- MyFitnessPal (free + premium) – best all round calorie app
- Control My Weight (free) – motivational calorie counter app
- MyNetDiary (paid) Nutritional database calorie counting app
- Noom(free) – best for weight management and coaching to change your lifestyle
- Lose It!(Free) – best user-friendly calorie counter app
- Calorie Counter+(free, 7 day trial, paid)
- Cronometer – best for professional healthcare
- Lifesum – best for helping you build healthie eating habit
- Fitbit – best for motivating you i weight loss journey
What calorie counter app works with Apple Watch?
Let us look at some user-friendly apps that will help to track your food and exercise in iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watches. Here are few weight loss apps for apple watch users
- Lose It! — Calorie Counter
- Carrot Fit
- MyPlate calorie tracker
Which calorie counter app is most accurate?
Calorie calorie counter apps simply make estimates on how much you’re eating and from what food sources.
There is practically no app that is 100 percent accurate in tracking calories intake. I even believe they are as good as you make it to be or as they estimate how much you are progressing.
So there is no best calorie counting app, the calorie counting app that helps is the one that motivates, estimates and points you to right direction to losing weight effectively. If you are Fitbit fan, there is no exact value as to how accurate Fitbit calorie is.
What is the best watch for counting calories?
There are a lot of watches and fitness tracker that can tell how much calories you are consuming each day.
- Apple Watch Series 7
- Fitbit Charge 4
- Fitbit Sense
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
- Polar Ignite
- Garmin Vivoactive 4
- Amazfit GTS