1. Age – As people age their metabolism slows, so you will need fewer calories to maintain if you are over 40. This also means that any kind of exercise you do to enhance your weight loss or improve your health will help a great deal toward your overall calorie burn.
2. Height and Bone Structure – Taller people, and those with larger bone structures and/or body frames, will always burn more calories simply because the more body mass you have, the more energy it takes to keep it going.
3. How Much You Have to Lose – Not unlike being taller or having a larger bone structure, carrying more weight means your body has to work harder, even while it’s resting. This means that you will likely lose weight more quickly the heavier you are, and the closer you get to your weight loss target, the harder it will be to lose weight.
After taking the above into consideration, you can also evaluate how many calories you need to cut out of your diet by finding your basal metabolic rate. Your BMR is the amount of calories you burn by just being alive. There are BMR calculators that can figure it out for you, then you just subtract the amount of calories you eat from your basic BMR, and you will find calorie deficit for the day. The larger the difference in calories, the more weight you will lose.
But, how many calories should you really eat to lose weight? The Mayo Clinic recommends losing a maximum of about 2 pounds per week, and since each extra pound we shed requires a reduction of 3500 calories, this goal will require cutting 7000 calories per week from your diet. For a larger person whose BMR is around 2200+ calories, this means you can eat approximately 1200 calories without exercising and hit that 2-pounds-per-week mark. If you exercise, you may increase your metabolism on top of any extra calories you burn, so achieving a 2 pound weight loss is still likely to occur at 1500 calories.
Rapid weight loss is never healthy, but for anyone incorporating both diet and exercise in their weight loss program should generally be fine ingesting between 1000-1500 calories per day. Just remember, that faster weight loss may occur in the beginning of your diet – and that’s OK – but anyone on a long-term weight loss plan should seek the advice of their physician.
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