8/24/2021 0 Comments
Caloric Needs and Weight Loss
Tara Tomaino, RD
T&B Nutrition Director
Everyone’s individual calorie needs are different. Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body burns at rest, this is also the number of calories needed to maintain your lean body mass. When you add in activities of daily living and purposeful exercise, your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) increases further.. There are equations that can help you determine your TDEE or BMR (I like the Body Weight Planner tool from the NIH). To achieve weight loss, you want to create a calorie deficit that is lower than your TDEE, but not any lower than your BMR.
Once you have an idea of your TDEE, you can think about how much of a calorie deficit you’d like to start with. A small deficit of 100-200 calories per day will likely result in slower weight loss rather than a more aggressive deficit of 500 calories per day. It may be easier to maintain smaller calorie deficit over a longer period of time.. Focusing on eating high fiber, whole foods like vegetables, fruit, and whole grains and legumes will also help you feel full and satisfied while eating fewer calories. If you start to feel chronically fatigued, have trouble focusing, notice gastrointestinal abnormalities, hair loss, or lose your menstrual cycle you are likely not consuming enough calories and should seek professional guidance. I never recommend adults consume fewer than 1300 calories. On average, an adult may see successful weight loss while eating 1500-2000 calories and engaging in regular activity (again, this all depends on the individual).
Keep in mind, focusing on calories for weight loss requires keeping track of the foods and calories that you eat every day. This can be time consuming and should be considered before diving into a weight loss plan. Alternatively, a registered dietitian can help you lose weight without having to track calories if you don’t think that method is right for you. You can achieve weight loss by focusing on other elements of your eating habits and behavior.
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