To determine the number of calories needed to lose weight we must first try to calculate the calories required by the body. Only then is it possible to slowly lower the calories needed by the body until we are in a negative energy balance. The Schofield Equation is a method to calculate the basal metabolic rate (BMR) in calories of adult men and women.
[table id=97 /]
W= Body weight in Kilograms
SEE= Standard error of estimation (The SEE value means the calculated BMR could be this number of calories out, in other words either too many or too little. As an example, if you are very muscular and possess more lean weight than an average person of the same height and weight, then you may have to add the SEE value to the BMR calculated. The simple reason is more lean weight means more calories needed!)
Calories needed per day to lose weight
The gradual reduction in calories required encourages the body to slowly use up fat stores rather than burning up protein from muscle – this is what often happens when calories are cut too quickly and results in a lowered metabolism!
That’s why it is important to know how much of a calorie cut could make a big difference. Many dieters make the mistake of cutting calorie intake too much, too soon. They choose to follow a very low calorie intake diet in the belief that more fat will be burned from their excess fat stores.
Sometimes, dieters lose weight rapidly, but fail to realize that most of the loss is simply fluid lost from the cells. The body ends up using up a large portion of protein and carbohydrate stores (glycogen in the muscles), in order to balance energy.
The calorie intake depends on:
- activity levels
In the UK, it has been estimated that the average woman needs around 2000 calories per day to maintain weight. This calorie requirement rises to 2500 for average men. These figures are based on averages and may be completely different for many individuals. Women who weigh more will generally require more calories although, if the same person becomes less active then calorie requirements will be lower. Also, men tend to need more calories than women, often due to a leaner body composition. For this reason calorie requirements are highly individual and require a more accurate approach.
Cut down calories
Sensible weight loss for healthy adults should start with a 500 calorie intake reduction from what the body requires. Then if progress holds for a week, the calorie intake can be reduced by burning a further 200 calories. This way the body can slowly establish a new energy balance, rather than shocking the system into breaking down lean weight, which actually helps keep the metabolism high, meaning more calories can be burned.
It is also recommended that light exercises should be performed, in order to increase calorie burning. Relying solely on diet to lose fat weight may lead to disappointment!