How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day to Lose Weight?

how_many_calories“How many calories should I eat a day?” doesn’t require a complicated answer.

Most people say that “how many calories to lose weight” depends on a number of factors. But we say the answer is really quite simple!

When you ask, “How many calories should I eat to lose weight?” Are you looking for healthy long term weight loss or just a temporary fix?

Permanent healthy weight loss begins with making a lifelong commitment to learning how to master your relationship with the foods you eat.

Once you make the necessary commitment, the answer to “How many calories should I eat a day?” comes easily. After all, to lose weight, you know that you need to eat fewer calories per day than you’ve been eating.

How Many Calories to Lose Weight – Simple 7 Step Solution

Although there’s a more complex method of determining how many calories to lose weight, you would first have to figure out your BMI (body mass index) and then jump through a bunch of mathematical hoops.

So here’s the simple seven step solution to how many calories a day:

1. Buy a 3 x 5 spiral notebook.

2. For 3 to 5 days use the notebook to add up your daily calories to find out how many calories you average eating in a day. (You may find this awareness causes you to automatically eat less – which is good, except it would skew your average. So temporarily resist the urge.)

3. Now, since it takes approximately 3,500 calories to make a pound of body fat, you would have to eat 500 fewer calories a day than your current daily calorie intake in order for you to lose about a pound a week.

500 calories a day x 7 days in a week = 3,500 calories

And if you ate a thousand fewer calories a day you could lose up to 2 pounds a week. Or, if you want to be more relaxed about it, just cut down with 250 fewer daily calories to lose 2 to 3 pounds a month.

As you can see, it’s not rocket science. It all goes back to commitment.

4. So using your notebook, start writing down your daily calories with the aim to discover just how strong your commitment is and how many calories you can eliminate without feeling deprived and unhappy.

5. In the process, start reprograming your mind and emotions to be at peace with fewer calories, eating more of the healthiest foods to eat.

6. Of course, if you add daily exercise to lowering your calories, you get an extra calorie burning bonus – depending on the type of activity, your current weight, how vigorously you exercise and for how long.

Here are a few examples of how many calories burned in an hour:

Walking – 183 – 414
Aerobics – 365 – 763
Gardening – 236 – 372
Housework – 147 – 323
Weight lifting – 219 – 327
Stair treadmill – 657 – 981
Tae kwon do – 733 – 1,090
Swimming, laps – 511 – 763

7. It’s generally recommended that you go no lower than 800 to 1000 calories a day. However, there have been some very positive studies on medically supervised healthy diets as low as 600 daily calories.

And to eat a very low calorie diet can promote even better health than a higher calorie diet, IF you take care to get all the necessary nutrients.

So make sure you include quality nutritional health supplements.

Bottom Line for “How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day?”

Whether you want to maintain a weight loss or find out how many calories to lose weight, your success with permanent healthy weight loss mostly depends on your mental ability to manage your relationship with food.

And, if you’re interested in how many calories to lose weight, it’s especially important that you learn how to stop overeating and emotional eating.

More Commonsense Health for You:
How to Lose Weight Fast and Safe
Food Calorie Chart of Healthy Foods
Best High Protein Foods for Weight Loss
Weight Loss Exercises to Lose Weight Fast


Brehm BJ, Seeley RJ, Daniels SR, D’Alessio DA. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. A randomized trial comparing a very low carbohydrate diet and a calorie-restricted low fat diet on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors in healthy women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2003;88:1617-23.

Mozaffarian D, Hao T, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB. New England Journal of Medicine. Specific changes in Diet and other lifestyle behaviors for preventing long-term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med 2011;364:2392-404.

Serdula MK, Mokdad AH, Williamson DF, Galuska DA, Mendlein JM, Heath GW. Journal of the American Medical Association. Prevalence of attempting weight loss and strategies for controlling weight. JAMA 1999;282:1353–58.

Diet and Health: Food Consumption and Nutrient Intake, Table 7: Percentage of food energy from fat for individuals. Economic Research Service, US Department of Agriculture.

Szanto S, Yudkin J. Postgraduate Medical Journal. The effect of dietary sucrose on blood lipids serum insulin, platelet adhesiveness and body weight in human volunteers. Postgrad Med J 1969;45:602–7.

Raynor DA, Phelan S, Hill JO, Wing RR. Obesity Research. Television Viewing and Long–Term Weight Maintenance: Results from the National Weight Control Registry. Obesity 2006;14:1816–1824.

Sacks FM, Bray GA, Carey VJ, et al. New England Journal of Medicine. Comparison of Weight-Loss Diets with Different Compositions of Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates. N Engl J Med 2009;360:859-873.

Swithers SE, Davidson TL. Behavioral Neuroscience. A role for sweet taste: calorie predictive relations in energy regulation. Behav Neurosci 2008;122:161-173.

Willett WC, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, et al. Journal of the American Medical Association. Weight, weight change, and coronary heart disease in women. Risk within the ‘normal’ weight range. JAMA 1995;273:461–5.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *