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Motivation and discipline aren’t the only hurdles when it comes to losing weight. You need to be in the right calorie range, and choose the right food, to begin seeing a significant and noticeable weight loss.
There isn’t a magical, all inclusive, calorie reduction number that works for everyone. The number of calories you should reduce to start losing weight will depend on your age, current weight and activity level.
Before jumping into your personal calculation you’ll need to establish your starting point. It’s important to be realistic and as honest as possible when doing this. Don’t use an ideal number, where you were on your best behavior.
Use an average of three days, where you eat normally including dining out and deserts.
To keep things simple we’re going to use a starting total of 2,000 calories for the examples below. (Plug in your own personal number in the calculations)
Creating A Calorie Deficit
Your body is in a state of equilibrium, right now. You’re currently consuming enough calories to maintain a weight higher than you’d like. It won’t be enough to just eat healthier, without a meaningful calorie reduction, to start losing weight.
You can drop a few pounds that way, but any significant weight loss (10-20 pounds) requires a prolonged calorie deficit.
If you’re eating 2,000 calories anything below this number will induce weight loss. The big question becomes, how many calories do you need to reduce?
A good number to try for would be a 15-20% reduction of your current daily calories. If you were eating 2,000 you would start to see significant weight loss if you reduced your calories to 1600-1800.
Because your calorie needs vary depending on age and activity level it can be helpful to use this calculator when trying to figure out how much you should be eating.
You can use it to help figure out your current calorie range, and also to establish what you should be eating if you have a target weight.
When reducing calories also keep in mind you need food and nutrients for more than just maintaining weight. It’s needed for vital functions and directly effects your alertness, mood and overall energy.
– Men shouldn’t eat less than 1,500
– Women shouldn’t eat less than 1,200
Related: Why your body hates diets
Food Content Matters
The type of food you choose while dieting has a direct influence on how quickly you lose weight. It’s not uncommon to reduce your calories 15-20% and still not see significant weight loss.
This is usually because the type of food you’re eating has a negative influence on fat storage.
– Lean Protein
– Whole Fruit
– Whole Vegetables
Eat Less Of This:
– White Bread
– Fried Foods
See Also: Why you aren’t losing weight
Do You Really Need To Exercise?
Can you lose weight without exercise? Yes, you can but at a slower rate compared to diet and exercise. Some people detest exercise, and just want to diet and lose weight by reducing calories.
It’s not as efficient, and will take longer to lose weight if you’re only using half of the tools available when it comes to reducing calories. Remember, any calories burned while exercising also contributes to your daily calorie deficit.
Dieting alone would require a reduction of 400 calories consumed each day.
But if you were also exercising and burning 200 calories you would only need to reduce your calorie intake by 200. It makes dieting more manageable, and less of a lifestyle shock.