Thursday, June 16, 2011

Daily Calorie Needs and What It Takes To Lose a Pound

What it takes to lose a pound 

A pound of body fat equates to approximately 3500 calories. So if you have a calorie deficit of 500 calories (meaning that you burn 500 calories more than you eat each day) you would lose approximately one pound per week: 500 x 7 = 3,500

Unit of Weight
Approximate Calories
Approximate Kilojoules
It's easy to see that a calorie deficit of 1000 calories would mean that you'd lose approximately two pounds per week. And that's a good number to remember, because two pounds a week is commonly accepted as the maximum rate of weight loss that is healthy. For those planning to attend their class reunion next month, we recognize the need to crash diet with total disregard for health and long-term results. For all others, crash dieting is totally unacceptable. Even if you are headed off to Hawaii and want to look great in your bikini, forget about crash dieting. You won't have the energy to enjoy your vacation.
A good diet may serve you well while you learn to take better care of yourself, but a crash diet will only set you up for failure. The faster you lose weight the more likely you are to put it back on. Losing more than a pound or two a week can also not only be unhealthy, but it will very likely cause you to lose muscle along with the fat. This is bad because muscle is a metabolically active tissue, which means that your body burns calories just to sustain it. Thus losing muscle results in a lower metabolism, the rate at which you burn calories. Aren't you really more interested in long-term results? Most diets trumpet fast weight loss to get your attention. And your money. But if you lost only a pound a week, that would be 52 pounds a year. Isn't that enough? The slower you lose weight the more likely you are to keep it off.

Daily Calorie Intake

There are two methods of calculating how many calories you burn in a day, or how many calories you need to eat to sustain your current weight:
  1. The quickest and roughest method is based on a general level of activity and can be calculated in one easy step with the Weight Loss Calculator and click on  Calculate Daily Calorie Deficit Required to Reach Goal Weight. Keep in mind that calories burned calculations are based on your weight. As you lose weight and activity becomes easier, you will burn fewer calories performing the same activities. Therefore as you lose weight, you will need to periodically re-calculate the number of calories you burn in a day.
  2. For a more accurate estimate of how many calories you burn in a day, you can calculate the actual activities that you would perform over a 24 hour period with the Activity Calculator​300 Exercises, sports and activities are listed here, showing calories burned per hour and energy expended for a 130, 155, 180 or 205 pound person. The amount of calories expended is influenced by many factors, including body weight, intensity of activity, conditioning level and metabolism.
Note that calories burned calculations reflect the total number of calories burned during the period of time calculated. Therefore when using the Activity Calculator to calculate how many calories you burn in a day, do not add your BMR  to the results. Use one method or the other to calculate a full 24 hours' worth of activities using your current weight. 

If you weigh 180 pounds, your results might look like this:
    Totals: 3,130 calories in 24 hr
    588 calories in 8 hr
    Office Work - general
    980 calories in 8 hr
    Driving - light vehicle (e.g., car, pick-up)
    163 calories in 1 hr
    Food - preparing, at home
    204 calories in 1 hr
    Eating - sitting
    122 calories in 1 hr
    Taking a Shower
    82 calories in 30 min
    Cleaning - house or cabin, general
    122 calories in 30 min
    Shopping - groceries, with cart
    94 calories in 30 min
    Walking - with dog
    122 calories in 30 min
    Running - 6 mph
    408 calories in 30 min
    Dressing and Undressing
    82 calories in 30 min
    Watching - TV or movie
    163 calories in 2 hr

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