You probably understand that in order to lose weight, you need to burn a greater number of calories than you take in from what you eat or drink. When you do so, you force your body to break down some of that fat stored on your body in order to use it for fuel, and as a result, you lose weight. This is why comprehensive weight loss plans incorporate both healthy eating and consistent exercise. Every time you burn 3,500 more calories than you consume, you lose 1-lb of body fat. However, this deficit must be created over time. A healthy weight loss rate is 1 to 2-lbs. of fat per week, which would require creating a 3,500 to 7,000 weekly caloric deficit. This breaks down to a goal of 500 to 1,000 more calories burned than consumed per day.
Creating a caloric deficit is obviously key to your weight loss success, so you should have a thorough understanding of what you personally need to do to create this caloric deficit. You should know how many calories you burn per day so that you can adjust your calorie intake accordingly.
To Calculate the Number of Calories Burned Per Day:
The number of calories you burn per day is determined on your resting metabolic rate, which is the number of calories your body requires to perform body processes and tissue maintenance, plus any additional calories that you burn during your workouts.
Your resting metabolic rate is determined by genetics, your body size and your body composition. However, there is a mathematical equation that allows you to estimate your daily resting metabolic rate.
66 + (13.7 X weight in kg) + (5 X height in cm) - (6.8 X age in years) = daily metabolic rate
655 + (9.6 X weight in kg) + (1.7 X height in cm) - (4.7 X age in years) = daily metabolic rate
* You can find your weight in kilograms by dividing your weight in pounds by 2.2. Find your height in centimeters by multiplying your height in inches by 2.54. For example, if you weigh 250-lbs., find your weight in kilograms by dividing 250 by 2.2, which would equate to 113.64. If you are 5'6", or 66 inches tall, find your height in centimeters by multiplying 66 X 2.54, which would equal 167.64 cm.
Once you have your estimated resting metabolic rate, you'll want to add the number of calories you burn during your workouts each day. Find this value by using the number provided by the cardiovascular machine, or by using an estimated calories burned during exercise chart, such as the one provided by NutriStrategy.com (http://nutristrategy.com/caloriesburned.htm). Add the calories burned during your workout to your resting metabolic rate and you will have your total estimated calories that you burn in a day.
Ensuring You're Creating a Caloric Deficit
Once you have calculated the number of calories that you burn per day, you can then determine how many calories you should take in via food and drink to create a caloric deficit and support weight loss. For example, if you find that you burn 3,000 calories per day, you should try to take in 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day so that you create a 500 daily caloric deficit and thus set yourself up to lose 1 to 2-lbs. of fat per week. Make adjustments to your nutritional habits as necessary so that the number of calories you consume remains less than what you burn.
To Calculate the Number of Calories Consumed Per Day:
The number of calories that you take in is based on what you decide to eat and drink everyday. To determine this number, you will need to look at the nutritional label of everything that you eat and drink. Be sure to note the serving size listed on the label and adjust your portion size accordingly.