Ask anyone about the basic science behind losing weight, and they’ll probably ask you to remember a simple ”calorie in < calorie out’ formula. But who will tell them that it’s not as straightforward as that? Calorie counting doesn’t just come down to basic math. It’s as much about the ‘what’ as it’s about the ‘how much.’
The calorie requirements for men to lose weight are different from women. While women should consume about 1200 calories a day, the number is almost double for men. The calorie intake also depends on your fitness level, exercise, and daily activities. And today, we will look at all of this in depth.
But before we do that, let’s talk a bit about why you need to take steps to lose weight if you are overweight.
Why should you lose weight?
Although it should not be a question, if you carry extra weight on your body, you must lose it because it’s not just a matter of aesthetics.
Carrying more weight on your body than necessary leads to severe health complications. Your body stores fat everywhere it can, but the most common spot in men is the stomach. And as you increase in size due to extra fat, so does the fat percentage inside your body.
Visceral fat refers to the fat that envelopes your body organs and begins taking form there. And as it accumulates inside your body, it begins putting unnecessary stress on your internal organs, such as the liver. This, in turn, leads to reduced efficacy of your body organs.
Additionally, visceral fat, especially around your stomach, puts you at a high risk of a heart attack because it’s very closely linked to high cholesterol values.
So, keeping your body weight and fat percentage in check is essential. And towards that end, we’ll now look at the caloric requirements to lose weight.
What are the caloric requirements for men?
The calorie requirements depend on many factors. Height, weight, level of physical activity, and age affect this number, but on average, men require around 2500 calories to maintain their weight.
But if you are overweight, you need to maintain a calorie deficit, which means you burn more calories than you consume. When you remain in such a deficit, your body is forced to turn to available fat reserves as a source of energy, which helps you lose weight.
What should be your Caloric Threshold?
Caloric Threshold is the minimum amount of calories you need to consume to lose weight. And it differs from person to person, especially according to the intensity and level of your physical activity.
So, if your goal is to lose weight, you should eat 500 calories less than the calories you need to consume for maintenance which, on average, is 2500. This is for a person with a generally active lifestyle.
But if you lead a sedentary lifestyle and want to lose weight, you should consume less than 1200-1500 calories to maintain a calorie deficit big enough for your body to begin losing weight.
Is tracking your calorie intake necessary?
Yes, tracking your calorie intake is necessary. It’s an essential part of your weight loss journey. Because, usually, you are in the habit of consuming more calories gthan you need, thus forming a pattern of overeating.
So to curb this habit, at least in the beginning, you must note how many calories you consume in a day. This also helps you to understand where you need to make changes in your diet for faster and better results.
Quality of your Diet Matters
Just knowing how many calories to consume is not enough. What you eat is equally important. It would help if you began managing your macros as well. For instance, just because a chocolate bar fits your daily caloric requirement doesn’t mean you should consume it.
For a clearer idea of how to monitor your diet, let’s look into maintaining a calorie deficit while taking a proper diet.
Say NO to empty calories.
You have a limited number of calories to spend per day. Don’t waste them on foods that have zero nutritional value.
Sugary drinks, sodas, and packaged and processed foods provide very little to no nutrition to your body. So by eating that, all you will do is fill your stomach with empty foods that don’t nourish your body. Moreover, they use up all the available calories you can eat for the day, leaving you no option but to overeat.
Choose smaller dishes
If you are like most p[eople, you tend to fill your plate up, even if you are not that hungry in the first place. This usually leads to a caloric surplus. So, to combat this little hiccup, all you need to do is choose smaller dishes. This way, you instinctively eat less food without feeling dissatisfied with your portions.
Mindless eating equals extra calories.
Tracking your calories and keeping your food intake within the desired amount is challenging. And the habit of mindless eating makes it even harder. When you have your meals in front of your tv or phone, your attention is divided, and you end up eating more calories than you need. This is why avoiding mindless snacking at all costs is essential to prevent an accidental calorie surplus.
Determining the number of calories you, as a man, need to consume daily to lose weight depends on various factors. So the specific number will vary from person to person. But if you make it a point to keep all the above information in mind, you can quickly begin losing weight.