Discover the calories to lose weight 1 kg per week.
Treating obesity or being overweight requires, at a minimum, a combination of three factors: proper diet, regular physical exercise, and lifestyle changes.
Eventually, the use of diet pills becomes necessary and, in more severe cases, bariatric surgery may be indicated.
In this text we are going to talk about the number of calories indicated to lose weight.
We are going to teach how to calculate the number of calories you need to consume throughout the day to lose weight, approximately 0.5 to 1 kg per week (2-4 kilos per month).
At the end of the article, we provide a calculator so that you can calculate how many calories a day your diet must-have for you to lose weight successfully.
How many calories should I consume throughout the day?
Weight gain is directly related to the difference between calorie intake and expenditure during the day.
Losing weight or getting fat is the result of simple mathematical operations.
If the individual gains weight, it is because he is ingesting more calories than he is expending
If you keep your weight stable, it is because you eat several calories similar to your daily expenses; if you lose weight it is because you are burning more calories than you consume.
It is very simple, there is no other explanation for losing or gaining weight.
The ideal amount of daily calories is different for each individual. Factors such as height, age, sex, muscle mass, daily activities, etc., influence the basal caloric expenditure of the body.
However, we can estimate (pay attention to the term estimate) the average calorie expenditure of the individual throughout the day to indicate the most appropriate calorie consumption for him to lose weight.
It is important to remember that, even at rest or sleeping, there is the consumption of calories by the normal metabolism of our body, called basal energy expenditure.
Keeping our heart beating, regulating body temperature, keeping the lungs working, etc., demands energy. This expense is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR).
Therefore, the total calorie expenditure during the day is the sum of the BMR plus the caloric expenditure with routine activities.
Whatever activity you do, no matter how small, always burns a few calories.
As an example, when we sleep, we spend around 10 to 15 kcal per minute, showering uses 30 to 40 kcal per hour, and 1-hour playing squash uses about 100 kcal.
It is important to note that active people with more muscle use more calories even at rest.
An athlete burns more calories watching TV than a sedentary person.
A person who goes to the gym, at least 3 times a week, expends more calories sleeping than a sedentary person.
This is why the practice of exercises is so stimulated. The muscle mass itself in case it uses up calories.
The more muscle a person has, the higher their basal metabolic rate.
To lose weight by at least half a kilo per week, the individual must expend an average of 500 calories more than what he eats throughout the day.
To lose weight 1 kilo per week, you need to eat 1,000 calories less than the basal body expenditure.
We will use an example to facilitate understanding (I will present the formulas at the end of this text).
– An individual of 50 years, female, 1.60m tall and 100 kilograms spends, on average, 1,700 calories (kcal) per day only with the basal functioning of his organism.
If this patient is sedentary, small daily activities raise this burn to approximately 2000 kcal per day.
If the patient maintains a low level of physical activity and consumes 2000 calories a day, he will keep his weight stable over time.
If you consume more than 2000 calories a day, you will continue to gain weight.
Thus, if this patient wishes to lose weight at least half a kilo per week, she should ingest a maximum of 1500 calories per day (500 Kcal less than her daily expenditure).
An even better option than just restricting your diet is to increase your daily caloric expenditure by doing physical activities.
For example, if this same lady happens to do physical exercises 3-5 times a week, her daily caloric expenditure will become around 2,500 calories/day.
Therefore, even on a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet, she would lose weight.
Now, if the patient restricts her calorie intake to 1,500 a day and begins to do physical activities regularly, she manages to have a deficit of 1,000 calories a day, which will cause her to lose about 1 kg per week.
The ideal recipe for weight loss is to associate increased daily caloric expenditure with restricting calorie intake.
In theory, it seems easy. However, in practice, this is not so simple. One factor that makes it difficult to maintain the lost weight is that, as we lose weight, our caloric expenditure at rest also decreases.
Slimmer people burn fewer basal calories than fatter people since a smaller body requires less caloric expenditure to maintain itself.
The sedentary patient in our previous example burns approximately 2,000 calories per day while weighing 100 kg.
If she does an excellent diet and after about five months she manages to lose weight up to 85 kg, her basal daily calorie expenditure will drop to 1,800 kcal.
That is, to continue losing 0.5 kg per week, it would be necessary to eat fewer calories, reducing the intake to around 1,300 kcal/day.
Sedentary people need to eat fewer and fewer calories so that the weight loss process does not stop halfway.
That is why losing weight, initially, is easier. The first kilos disappear relatively easily. The problem is to keep losing weight in the long term.
But there is a solution: if this sedentary patient who with 100 kg spent 2,000 calories a day and now with 85 kg expends 1,800 kcal, start doing physical exercises 3 times a week, her daily caloric expenditure will jump to 2,300 calories/day, which makes the 1,500 kcal diet continue to provide a caloric deficit of 700 kcal, which is more than enough to maintain the loss of around 500 grams per week.
So it is much easier to lose weight by increasing your daily calorie expenditure through physical exercise than simply staying sedentary through diet alone.
As mentioned above, calorie expenditure does not only occur during the time you are on the treadmill or pedaling the bike.
Over time your metabolism will accelerate and even at rest, you will burn more calories.
How to calculate the number of daily calories needed?
If you want to estimate your caloric needs, you can use the Harris-Benedict formula described below.
Keep in mind that we are talking about estimates that may not work for individual cases.
For effective weight loss, professional follow-up is necessary, either with a nutritionist or an endocrinologist.
Don’t be scared by the size of the formulas. Although they are large, they require only simple arithmetic operations such as multiplying, adding, and subtracting.
Finally, we are going to give an example to facilitate understanding. If you don’t like doing calculations, we are going to offer you a calculator later to make the process easier.
To know the amount of calories you need to eat per day, the first step is to calculate the basal energy expenditure, which can be done using the following equations:
• Men = (13.75 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in centimeters) – (6.76 x age in years) + 66.5.
• Women = (9.56 x weight in kilograms) + (1.85 x height in centimeters) – (4.68 x age in years) + 665.
The result obtained above provides the BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), that is, how much your body consumes energy to maintain basic vital activities to function.
To obtain the actual energy expenditure, it is necessary to take into account the amount and frequency of physical activities that the individual performs during the day.
Thus, after calculating your basal energy expenditure, you must multiply it by the activity factor :
• If you are sedentary (little or no exercise), multiply your BMR by 1.2.
• If you are lightly active (light exercise 1-3 days a week), multiply your BMR by 1,375.
• If you are moderately active (you play sports 3-5 days a week), multiply your BMR by 1.55.
• If you are very active (intense exercises 5-6 days a week), multiply the BMR by 1.725.
• If you are extremely active (intense exercises daily or up to 2 times a day), multiply the BMR by 1.9.
Example: 35-year-old woman, 95 kilos, 1.65 meters (165 centimeters), and sedentary.
Calculation of BMR = (9.56 x 95) + (1.85 x 165) – (4.68 x 35) + 665 ⇒ (908.2) + (305.25) – (163.8) + 665 ⇒ 1714.65 kcal per day.
Calculation of real energy expenditure = 1714.65 x 1.2 ⇒ 2057.58 kcal per day
Therefore, if this patient wishes to maintain her weight unchanged, she should ingest about 2,057.58 calories per day.
If you want to lose around 0.5 kg per week, you should eat 500 calories daily below your basal energy expenditure, which means an intake of around 1,557.58 kcal per day.
To lose one kilo per week, calorie consumption should be limited to 1,057.58 kcal per day.
In general, such a high-calorie restriction is not recommended. The recommended minimum is 1,200 kcal per day.
Caloric restriction between 800 and 1,200 kcal can be done occasionally but under medical and nutritional supervision. Less than that is ineffective and can even be harmful to the body.
The ideal, therefore, is to increase the calorie deficit through exercise, causing an increase in real energy expenditure, which allows the patient to lose weight without resorting to very exaggerated diets.
If with physical activity the patient manages to increase her energy expenditure to around 2,500 kcal/day, the diet with 1,500 kcal will be enough to have a deficit of 1,000 kcal per day.
In this way, she will lose weight approximately 1 kg per week more healthily and permanently.
If you don’t want to use the formulas, try our simplified calculator.
Attention: the results are only an estimate and are not a substitute for medical and nutritional evaluation.