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how many calories
starvation diets
low calorie diet
food calories
calorie restriction
muscle breakdown
lack of energy
amount of calories
health problems
How Many Calories Do You Need To Lose Weight?
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How Many Calories Do You Need to Lose Weight?

Whenever Franz consults with people on weight loss, one of the most common questions that comes up in discussions is how many calories do you need to lose weight? What's the maximum amount of calories someone can eat and still lose weight? So many people are obsessed with calories that I think they let the concept ruin their chances of long term weight loss. And it comes from years of confusion about how a calorie really effects weight loss.

Sure, you have heard it before: calories in, calories out, eat more than you burn and you gain weight. Yes, but all calories are not created equal. Your body needs the energy that comes from beneficial food calories in order to keep the body functioning. You need that energy for your cells to function, major organs to do their job, to digest food, and to even breathe. That does not include other energy requirements that your body needs to keep you active.

So, if your body needs all those calories to function, and more to be active, how many calories do you need to lose weight? What are the maximum amount of calories to be healthy and lose weight? If you eat too few calories, like many starvation diets recommend, you can cause many health problems. The major effect of a low calorie diet is the breakdown of muscle in order to make up for the lack of energy the body is given. The body needs glucose to keep essential body functions working, and if it does not get it through regular nutrition, it will break down muscle to get it.

Unfortunately, when people do this, they really are affecting their heart, which in itself is a muscle. You can actually create muscle breakdown of the heart when restricting calories. Believe it or not this can lead to cardiac conditions. You can lose weight with calorie restriction but you can also damage your health if you cut to severely!

So, you don’t want to eat too many calories, and you don’t want to eat too few, so what is the right amount? Or, how many calories do you need to lose weight without doing harm to your body?

Now every person’s body is different. Even identical twins can have different metabolisms and different food needs. So, when it comes to calories you have to use generalities to get an idea of your requirements, and then cut those by twenty percent to achieve healthy weight loss.

How many calories do you needs to lose weight? Here’s a simple calculation that you can use to figure out a number. Once you have an idea you can create a healthy meal plan based on the meal plan schedule for your body type.

Take your weight and multiply it by 13, 14, or 15. Take that number and reduce it by twenty percent. That’s the approximate number of calories you should eat a day to lose one to two pounds a week. Don’t eat any less! See how you feel. If you are losing more than two pounds a week, add a serving or two in your five meal a day eating plan.

If you follow this basic guideline you will never again have to ask how many calories do you need to lose weight? You will know what foods to eat, you will never have to worry about calories again, and once you know what meal plans produce optimal nutrition and energy for your body, you will never have to diet again!

Street Talk

Nick M  

Hi Franz, I do appreciate the quality of the article, however I can't find myself agreeing with some of your claims. I definitely do agree that cutting calories too severely can be detrimental to your health, but in risking cardiac arrest? I have not heart of this before. The most health risks I have come across in dropping to a low calorie deficit is diabetes, and risking losing muscle as opposed to fat. It would sure make the article easier for me to believe if you can possibly reference where some of this information stems from. Hope my input helps. :)

  about 1 decade ago
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