Basic Weight Loss Calculator
When it comes to weight loss, the quality of the food you put into your body matters. As a Certified Nutrition Coach I strongly believe that you should emphasize quality food choices before you look at quantity. However, calories do matter top tips for losing weight and most clients who come to me have no idea where to start (though here are my weight loss tips ). Use this weight loss calculator to determine how many calories you need to consume each day to achieve your goals.
Disclaimer: these calculators are not to replace any doctors advice or help with any specific aliment. They were designed to give a general idea of caloric intake. They can be skewed. Do not replace professional medical advice with your results.
I'm going to give you a few tips and pieces of advice regarding all the number you're about to encounter. However, if you'd prefer to ignore it all, here is how the weight loss calculator works:
- Determine your resting metabolic rate (RMR)
- Using your RMR calculate your metabolic rate based on your activity level
- You will then be given a daily calorie intake for average weight loss (see all specific details below the calculators).
Note: there are two calculators, one for women and one for males. Make sure you use the appropriate one!
Take Results With A Grain Of Salt
One thing to keep in mind is that any and all weight loss calculators are estimations. They're not exact and they can vary. There's a lot of different equations to chose from and unless you're hooked up to a machine, it's hard to know exactly what how many calories you need in a day.
Just like tracking calories in (food calories), results can be skewed. Actually, when it comes to tracking calories results can be off as much as 200-300 per day. It's insane (check out the surprising problem with calorie counting)
Which is why my advice will always be to focus on quality first and then tweak with numbers. There's also a lot of other aspects to consider when it comes to weight loss (you can read about the four pillars of weight loss or give it a listen on the podcast).
Don't underestimate weight loss. It's easy to lose weight eating only cabbage soup for a few weeks (eye roll). But long term results require practical habits. Think that through.
Resting Metabolic Rate
The formula below will calculate your resting metabolic rate. Truth be told there's quite a few (my certification text alone gave us four) formulas to use when it comes to calculating RMR. So again, this is an estimate.
Plug in your numbers and the first box in bold is your RMR. Basically, these are the amount of calories your body needs to function. Just based on age, height and weight. This isn't even including daily life tasks like picking up kids, cutting the grass etc.
While you can dip below this, hanging out below it for too long can cause some serious health issues and metabolic decline -where your metabolism functions even worse. Check out more about metabolic damage and how to counter act it here.
The metabolic rate equation now takes into consideration your activity levels.
When choosing your activity levels be practical. Do not count walking your dog once per day as lightly active. I'm sorry, but you are sedentary.
One of the biggest areas people fail when it comes to weight loss goals and using a calories in versus calories out method is that the overestimate their activity and underestimate how much they eat.
Don't be that person.
For example, I only classify myself as moderately active under these guidelines. Yes, I workout frequently but my workouts aren't always high on the intensity scale. I'd say that unless you are an athlete, do no classify yourself as very active.
The activity levels breakdown as follows and then calculate your metabolic rate by multiplying it against your resting rate.
- Sedentary (little or no exercise)
- Lightly active (light exercise/movement 1-3 days/week)
- Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week)
- Very active (hard exercise/competitive sports 6-7 days a week)
Once you have this number, know that this is technically your metabolic rate. Meaning, if you stay at this caloric intake and you keep your exercise volume the same, you will for the most part maintain your weight. If your goal is to change your body shape but not lose or gain too much weight, this is the number your want to aim for.
Weight Loss Calculator
The calculation should guide you through 1lbs of weight loss per week.
While many people will lose more weight than this initially when they shift their habits (you lose water weight, your body begins to thrive if you eliminate processed crap etc), basic weight loss is about 1lb/week.
As I mentioned, you can definitely lose more than this but it depends a lot on what you're eating and how (see tips below).
Special Note: there is such a thing as TOO LOW on the calorie front. The first thing to remember is if you're already small (weighing in at 120 or less) you probably don't need to lose weight but to change your body composition (I hate this word but tone up). Less calories will not do that. Likewise, if you only have a little bit of weight to lose, do not chose the aggressive option. You'll take your calories too low for too long and your body will rebel by storing fat. In this case, i'd chose a minor calorie decrease but play around with calorie and carbohydrate cycling.
Last tip: Even if the calculator brings it up, do not reduce calories below 1100kcal/day. It's not practical and normally means you're in the first category (you don't need to lose weight but need to change your body composition).
What To Do Now
This is a loaded question. Obviously if you have weight loss goals you'll want to eat according to that number. But that doesn't mean you can never go above that calorie intake. In fact, I suggest you do sometimes! You'll also want to pay attention to your macronutrient breakdown.
In the next few weeks, I'll be developing meal templates for a range of calorie results so you have an idea of wtf to consume. Check back soon.
There's a lot of ways to eat based on that number but I recommend carbohydrate cycling. I find it comes a nit more natural, you don't need to count or weight things and it's not at one extreme of any diet (here's why I dislike keto for most people).
Instead of doing anything extreme, I normally have clients consume more quality carbohydrates on workout days and less on other days. This cycle gives the body a bit more time to process through the intake and tends to work well for more than just a specific group.
Regardless, find a system of eating that works FOR YOU and rock it. There's no one perfect avenue for weight loss and no two journeys will be the same. Stick to the basics of :
- Reduce sugar intake
- Cut back on processed sh*t
- Drink water
- Move your body
- Focus on quality first always
Don't forget to pin this helpful weight loss calculator!