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pallen123's avatar

What is the simplest way to calculate calories needed to lose weight?

Asked by pallen123 (1510 points ) July 3rd, 2010

I’m looking for the absolute simplest way to calculate how many calories per day an individual should consume in order to maintain or lose weight. I know a variety of factors are usually considered to calculate calorie requirements including current weight, age, gender, activity level, weight, height, desired number of pounds to lose and at what rate. However, I’m looking for a very simple way of calculating total calories needed to maintain or lose weight. I know there are online calorie calculators, but I’m not interested in those. I’m interested in simple calculation, if such a thing exists, that would allow an individual to quickly calculate this using a pen and paper or a handheld calculator. Any ideas?

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12 Answers

perspicacious's avatar

Buy a small calorie booklet for a couple of dollars. Count what you eat each day to see about how many calories you eat per day. If you want to lose weight, eat less calories, etc. etc. Not difficult.

It will be different for each person.

LuckyGuy's avatar

There are all kinds of caveats but this is the generalization:
A pound is 3500 calories. Assuming you don’t change your exercise habits at all, if you want to lose a pound in 10 days you have to eat 350 calories less than what you are doing now.
Or you can eat the same as usual but exercise an additional 350 calories. That is about an hour of walking. If you do both, you will knock off 2 pounds in 10 days.
Is that simple enough?
There are great online site but you said you are not interested in those. The USDA site mypyramid.gov is excellent. But my numbers above are pretty darn close.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Simple way:

Non athlete female- 1500 calories

Non athlete male- 2000 calories

Look up online or read your foods and get real familiar with the calories in each and for the portions you allow each mean. I break my calories into 3 meals (I’m female) but eat those foods over 5–6 snack times so I eat all day but only what I would’ve if I sat down to a calm full meal 3 times a day.

jazmina88's avatar

check www.calorieking.com. They have carb and calorie info on fast food joints as well.
I have their book i carry with me, as I seriously count carbs for insulin.

oreo45's avatar

none of the charts Ive seen take ones hight into account. a 4 foot 9 woman will need less than a 5 foot 11 woman.

gondwanalon's avatar

I don’t believe in restricting calories. I believe in burning them. Why don’t you forget about diets to lose weight and just eat the foods recommended by the NIH (National institute of Health) and get the physical exercise that your body needs in order to maintain good health. I’m 59 years old with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 21, ( I’m 5’11” and weigh 150 lbs) which is the same as I was in high school. My wife is a dietician and has calculated that my daily calorie intake is between 2,500 and 3,000 and I exercise an average of 1½ hours per day. So if you want to make things simple, forget about counting calories and just start working out. Concentrate on getting stronger and fitter and making physical workouts a part of your daily routine for life. Get a medical check up then get tough and do it! Good health! Lon

mattbrowne's avatar

A simple way to handle the problem is to give up the notion of simple ways to lose weight. There are a million books on this. If it were simple, we’d all use a single page with 10 rules.

ArpitaBarua's avatar

Counting calories make weight lose easier. There are several ways to count calories. But the simplest way is using “Diet Scale and Software”.

mrentropy's avatar

@mattbrowne 1) Eat less 2) Exercise more ?

mattbrowne's avatar

@mrentropy – No, because the “eat less” rule doesn’t work. Hunger is a very, very strong instinct, stronger than the desire to have sex. The rule has to be about eating the right stuff. The “exercise more” advice become very complex for BMIs > 28. In case of obesity people need supervision and very often carry out exercises in a pool.

mrentropy's avatar

I was quoting a comic strip. I think it was Charlie Brown, but I don’t remember.

mattbrowne's avatar

Oh, that does explain it ;-)

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