How many calories in a day for weight loss
Team Gabit
7 months ago | 7 mins

How many calories in a day for weight loss

Learn how to calculate your ideal daily calorie intake for weight loss. Explore our guide and understand how you can easily have a track on your daily calorie intake!

Learn how to calculate your ideal daily calorie intake for weight loss. Explore our guide and understand how you can easily have a track on your daily calorie intake!

When it comes to the maths behind our calorie intake per day for weight loss, it can be confusing. Cutting calories day by day on our food platters falls in the hands of the concept of Calorie Deficit. There is a certain amount of calories we consume each day and is burnt by our body to be used as energy. When our calorie intake becomes less than what your body needs, it follows the mechanism of Calorie Deficit. This is also when our body begins to use the fat already stored in the body, leading to immediate weight loss.

know how much calories in a day for weight loss

What is basal metabolic rate (BMR)?

Though burnt dominantly during physical activity, our calories get used while our body conducts its basic functions at rest like breathing, cell production and circulation. This is called Basal Metabolic Rate. Knowing your BMR can assist you in understanding your Total Daily Energy Expenditure and then devise a plan for how much calories in a day for weight loss. To achieve a caloric deficit, BMR could lend a helping hand by stating how many calories your body needs for its basic functions and ultimately what should be your calorie intake per day for weight loss.

For Men: BMR = 66.5 + (13.75 × weight in kg) + (5.003 × height in cm) - (6.75 × age)

For Women: BMR = 655.1 + (9.563 × weight in kg) + (1.850 × height in cm) - (4.676 × age)

Once you calculate your BMR, you could turn it into Total Daily Energy Expenditure by recognising your physical activity pattern.

  • Sedentary (little or no exercise): calories = BMR × 1.2
  • Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week): calories = BMR × 1.375
  • Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): calories = BMR × 1.55
  • Very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week): calories = BMR × 1.725
  • Extra active (very hard exercise/sports and a physical job): calories = BMR × 1.9

know how much calories in a day for weight loss

Once you finally attain your Total Daily Energy Expenditure, you can formulate a plan for intaking a certain number of per day calories for weight loss.

Factors influencing daily calorie needs

The calories required per day for weight loss goes beyond just mathematical equations, there are a range of factors that influence our daily calorie needs that in turn affect our weight.

1. Age – Imagine a young kid enjoying her childhood to its fullest and then compare it to her grandmother who is rather more at peace and prefers to be at rest. Both these lifestyles have a stark difference. While the young child with not just an ambitious active lifestyle but a growing brain and body possessing a high metabolism needs more calories, her grandmother who has a passive take at physical activity would require less calorie intake. Amongst adults and as their age increases, their muscle mass reduces and fat content increases. This leads to a fall in their appetite for muscle burns more calories than fat.

2. Gender – Men having a heavier proportion of muscle mass than women tend to have a larger diet as their calories burn much more too.

3. Weight – Individuals with a larger body need more energy and calories for their basic body functions which affects their BMR. Body composition too plays a role here, having more muscle mass links itself with having an increased calorie count.

4. Height – Naturally having a larger body mass, tall individuals require more calories than those who are short.

5. Physical activity – The more than you thrive physically pushes your body to consume more calories than someone who is inactive physically.

know how much calories in a day for weight loss

Calculating your daily caloric needs for weight loss

Along with just knowing your BMR, it is suggested that you must have a calorie deficit of 500 calorie intake per day for weight loss. If a person’s body needs 2500 calories for its functioning on a daily basis, these would be reduced to 2000 calories per day for weight loss.

On a safer side it is recommended for a woman to have 1200 – 2000 calories per day while for a man it is 1500 - 2500 calories per day based on the individuals.

Healthy calorie reduction strategies

To effectuate weight loss calories per day, these calorie reduction strategies could help your kitchen become healthier than it is.

1. Begin by being very clear about your required calorie count to plan the calorie deficit.

2. Small portions of food eaten in small plates at a slow speed allows you to skip on some extra calories.

3. Prefer stepping more often in your kitchen than you do in your nearest café. It could help you regulate both your calorie count and the cooking methods. Methods such as air-frying, roasting, grilling, poaching and boiling are healthier than just dropping food in oil, ghee or butter.  

know how much calories in a day for weight loss

4. When you order food outside, you could add in healthy appetisers like salads, hummus, beans or soups to save your stomach from a heavy main course dipped in calories.

know how much calories in a day for weight loss

5. Scrolling through social media or bingeing on a series distracts us from mindful eating and we end up overeating.

6. Desserts, alcohol or any other beverage rich in sweeteners should be consumed in less amounts.

7. Read the food labels the next time you visit the grocery store and buy food rich in protein, low in carbs and having limited fat which is unsaturated.

know how much calories in a day for weight loss

8. Substitute the fried potato chips with healthy snacking options like apples, almonds, boiled eggs, avocados and roasted snacks.

9. Pack and take home a portion of your meal that you eat at a restaurant for the servings might be more than required at once.

10. On days that you eat dinner late, you end up consuming larger quantities of everything and foods which count more fats than protein. Eating dinner early could help you avoid these cravings.

Importance of nutrient-dense foods in a low-calorie diet

know how much calories in a day for weight loss

Wonder why when you’re trying to count your per day calories for weight loss, everyone asks you to eat lentils, vegetables, fruits, beans, low-fat dairy products, chickpeas and whole grains. These are nutrient dense foods high in minerals, vitamins, fibre and other nutrients but low in fat and calories. These foods not only give the body the nutrients it needs but also improves health, manages weight and boosts energy levels as well.

know how much calories in a day for weight loss

Role of physical activity in weight loss

Just working on your weight loss calories per day wouldn’t do all the work, you must blend it with physical activity sessions to accomplish your weight loss goals. It is advised to at least work out thrice a week for 20-25 minutes per session which could include home workouts, yoga or hitting the nearby gym. On an everyday basis, some light to moderate activity such as walking, jogging and running would put your body in an active routine. With consistent physical exercise sessions, your calories and fat burn quicker, speeding the process and balancing it with a proper diet.

know how much calories in a day for weight loss

Understand and manage your hunger

Physical exercise makes little sense if you aren’t able to manage your hunger. This involves mindful eating, portion control and healthy substitutes for fatty foods. You mustn’t starve yourself but also catch hold of your cravings. If every time you crave for something and actually end up eating it, you’d hardly strike any of your weight loss goals. You must add in your diet things that both satisfy your taste and your per day calories for weight loss. Protein consumption is the key to managing your hunger for it fills your stomach quicker than you know.

Common mistakes to avoid

While tallying your one-day calories for weight loss, you should prevent these common mistakes.

1. Do not reduce your calories so much that it lowers your metabolism, decreases muscle mass and energy levels.

2. What you do in a day is achieved from the energy that your body has. If you fast consistently or starve yourself, your body wouldn’t be able to perform its daily functions and the fall in energy levels wouldn’t allow you to work on your professional life or enjoy your personal life.

3. While you’ve understood how much calories in a day for weight loss, you shouldn’t cut down on protein. Protein is the most important nutrient during weight loss; it fills your stomach faster and boosts metabolic rate.

know how much calories in a day for weight loss

4. Keep a consistent count of your calories from not just your regular meals but sweets, snacks and drinks as well but make sure you give yourself a cheat day once in a while.

5. You should know the correct portion sizes; it can vary with different food items and if not counted correctly can overestimate or underestimate the calorie count.


know how much calories in a day for weight loss

You must be fairly clear with how many calories per day for weight loss works for you, keep a healthy balance between your diet and physical activity. Ensure that you figure out your Calorie Deficit basing it on your BMR and Total Daily Energy Expenditure. Though your stomach craves for the tastiest pizzas and pastries, give it a good amount of protein and prepare to punch that stored fat mass.

Frequently Asked Questions –

How many calories should I consume daily to lose weight?

Though generally recommended as 1500-2000 calories per day for women and 2000-2500 calories per day for men during weight loss, these numbers can vary according to exercise levels and the person’s body composition.

Does the required caloric intake vary based on age, gender, or activity level?

Yes, age, gender and activity level affect the caloric intake. If a person is younger and has a more physically active lifestyle, he/she would have a larger caloric intake than someone who is an adult or a senior citizen and has a low level of activity. According to gender, males need more calories on their plate compared to women.

Is it more effective to reduce caloric intake or increase physical activity for weight loss?

Both reduction in caloric intake and increase in physical activity play a role in weight loss. Reduction in caloric intake without physical activity or increase in physical activity without reduction in per day calories for weight loss doesn’t quicken up the process. They need to coexist to perform the task of weight loss.

Can eating too few calories hinder weight loss efforts?

Eating too few calories can lead to a slower metabolism, low energy levels which can affect your workout sessions, lower your immunity and cause nutrient deficiency as well.

Download the Gabit app

for the complete experience

play store iconapple store icon