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Calorie Calculator To Lose Weight

by Dave on September 15, 2010

Do you need a  fancy calorie calculator to  lose weight ?

How about we break it down into what we need to know ?… OK great, let’s get to it.

Calorie Calculator To Lose Weight

calorie counting

Firstly we can agree that  if  you are looking to lose weight, then you need to get a handle on how many calories you need on a daily basis. Your best guide for this is your BMR or RMR. Otherwise known as your Basal Metabolic Rate, or Resting Metabolic Rate. Enter your details into a BMR Calculator. This will give you the number of calories you need on a daily basis, just to maintain your weight. Your BMR / RMR is also calculated without adding in any additional daily activity. Most calorie calculator tools, overestimate calories burned through exercise, so you are safer to just use the base numbers.

Calorie Calculator To Lose Weight – Understanding The Numbers

When you understand how many calories a day you body needs, weight loss becomes easier to workout, however  I have found talking to friends who have started a weight loss programme, that they don’t have any clue about their daily calorie needs.

In my case, as a 5 foot 10 man who weighs 165 lbs my BMR is around 1700 calories a day. Just be clear here, this means if I do nothing but get up, and sit at my laptop,  I won’t need more than 1700 calories a day.

Now if I want to lose weight, I need to be BELOW that 1700 calorie per day figure. If I am looking to lose 1lb of fat over a week, then I need to cut 500 calories from that figure.

Yes sorry to break the bad news, but that means I am looking at a daily calorie amount of 1200 calories in order to lose 1lb of fat per week.

Calorie Calculator To Lose Weight – Mistakes To Watch Out For

Many people make the mistake of thinking that cutting 500 calories a day burns 1lb of fat. This is not correct, it has to be 500 calories under your current daily calorie needs in order to burn fat. Now like anything, these figures are estimated.  Your own results may vary, but the easiest way to know if you are still eating too many calories will be the result. If you not losing weight, then you are still eating too much.

The easiest calorie calculator to lose weight is your own results. A calorie calculator like the BMR calculator will however give you a base level you can use as a guide.

The calorie calculator is the easy part. How we go about keeping the calories below the level is more of a challenge.

In my case I always look at calories over a week, not by the day. This means I would have 8,400 calories a week  as my total, if I was cutting by from my BMR. If I do also do additional exercise such as any Calories Burned Waking then I simply look at these calories as a bonues, I would not compensate with extra food just because I had burned extra calories through exercise.

Calorie Calculator To Lose Weight – Take Home Message

So my take home advice here is, the best calorie calculator to lose weight is  knowing your BMR / RMR.  Focus on staying below that level on a consistent basis and you will find you lose weight. Does this mean you need to count calories every day ? well I would say no, but you do need a good understanding of how many you need. After 20 months as a Retired Dieter, I don’t , and indeed never have measured food. Check your BMR/RMR it is the only Calorie Calculator To Lose Weight you need.

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Calorie Calculator To Lose Weight  Copyright Dave Ward 2010

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  • http://paleoforlife.blogspot.com/ Bill

    “Firstly we can agree that if you are looking to lose weight, then you need to get a handle on how many calories you need on a daily basis.”

    Sorry Dave, I can’t agree that you need to worry about the number of calories. I consume 3000+ calories a day. So by your logic I should be gaining weight, but I don’t.
    If you consume a high fat, medium protein diet and reduce simple carbs, ideally by eliminating grains and sugars, you can eat as much as you like, unless you are metabolically damaged.
    In my case the fat comes from pastured butter, extra virgin olive oil, full fat pro-biotic yoghurt, fermented cheese and pastured eggs. Combined with protein mainly from oily fish and other seafood with meat, mainly offal from grass fed animals. Add to this lots of complex carbs like broccoli, spinach, brussel sprouts, onions and garlic. My treat is 85 or 90% cocoa chocolate, another source of fat with minimal sugar. My only simple carb is basmati rice, avoiding all legumes and no potatoes. I also find that full bodied red wine makes no weight gains, but beer and cider do. I can’t comment on spirits because I never consume.
    I have followed this for 4 years now and have excellent health with good blood lipid levels and very low body fat.
    Like you, I fast intermittently for up to 24 hours once or twice a week with no hunger pangs.
    If you are counting calories then you are actively dieting and not “retired”.
    It’s not how much you eat but what you eat.

    • http://RetiredDieter.com Dave

      Bill,

      As I mentioned in the post, I don’t count calories, but I have a good estimate of how many calories I eat, and how many It takes for me to start to gain weight. Sorry but if you are really eating 3000 calories a day and maintaining your weight, then you are simply far more active than I am, If I consume 3000 calories, with my lifestyles as it is, I gain weight, it’s that simple.
      Either your are not eating as many calories as you think or you are so active you are burning 3000 a day off. The only way we can know for sure how many we eat is going in a lab, which of course is impractical, we don’t live in labs.

      Sorry we are not going to agree on that the type of calories matter, that is the whole thing I got away from with this blog. You won’t change my view of calories in v calories out is all that matters in weight loss. Why ? Because I lost 65lbs using that method. The best diet for anyone here is the one that helps them lose weight and keep it off, I don’t say any one diet is good or bad, and I certainly don’t view any foods as good or bad.
      It may not be about how much you eat, but what you eat, but my view would be, it is not what you eat, but how many calories you eat that matters. The poison is in the dose.

  • Tom

    Do you have any tips for how to learn to estimate calories? What is that process, cause I just blindly guess but really have no idea.
    Also you go by the weekly total, so are you guestimating your calories at the end of each day and keeping track of it? I can’t imagine remembering what I ate each day at the end of the week.

    I love the blog by the way, I check it all the time!

    • http://RetiredDieter.com Dave

      Hi Tom,

      Thanks for the comment
      To be honest, unless we are under scientific conditions, then all any of us can hope to do is guess. The only thing I would say is we should change to guess that the calories are higher, to be on the safe side!. Our biggest problems come from the fact we are underestimating how many we eat.

      Based on my own experience I think the best tip I can give is read food labels, and get a general idea of the calories in the usual foods you eat. For example I know a 1/4lb burger is around 185-200 cals. a 100g of chicken breast is around 120, 100g of of beef around 140, or cooked fillet steak is about 190.

      A large baked potato, about three and one-half to four inches in diameter can have about 275 calories.

      A slice of bread seems to go between 100 and 120 depending on what it is.

      So you can see once you have an understanding of some basics, it is easier. I would say the harder part is remembering what we eat ( easier on fasting days ! ) which is why when I started out I did keep a food diary.

      As I say there is no need to measure food every day, it’s just a case of getting used to the portion size and getting an estimate of the calories. This is why I use the BRM/ RMR because again it keeps my estimation
      on the low side, because I know in my case, most likely my actual calorie intake will be higher than I think.

      Tom, the easiest way for you to know if you have the guessing right, is are you losing weight ? If yes you are OK!. If no, then you are still eating too much.

  • http://paleoforlife.blogspot.com/ Bill

    Dave,
    I’ve just supped 2 bottles of red wine. I will be the worse for wear tomorrow, but I have had a very convivial evening. Good for well being, now and again. Loads of “calories.”
    I am not underestimating my calorie intake, I have deliberately raised my intake and measured all that I consume and maintained 4000ish calories for 8 days. No weight at all gain within the constraints….
    Once your metabolism is sorted, the rest is easy.
    Your aim is to have a defined six pack. Follow my dietary guidelines with some resistance training, and you will be where you want to be within 3 months. Guaranteed.

  • Tom

    Thanks, Dave!
    That all makes sense and sounds very do-able.
    Keep up the good work!

  • ryan

    I completely agree with you with your regard to Bill’s comments. If consuming 3000 cals a day is working for him, then that is great- he should continue. However, I can attest- first hand- that it is indeed the amount and not the food that dictates weight loss. I was on a strict paleo diet for several months with no real weight loss. Counting (or rather, being aware of) calories is far more effective, at least in my own experience. Your mileage may vary, I suppose.

    I think one thing that you both may have overlooked, at least in this dialog, is one’s genetic makeup and how it can dictate BMR. I have known friends that routinely maintain sub 10% bf with a very high cal diet and low activity level. I believe they are called ectomorphs by the fitness community, no?

    • Dave

      Ectomorphs is one name for them, I have another ;). Sadly for the rest of us mere mortals, it does seem to come down to calories in v calories out.

  • Pingback: Calculate BMR | Retired Dieter

  • Wally

    I don’t understand your comment that one does not need to count calories or weigh food. If losing weight is dependant upon the amount of calories I take in (or don’t take in), How am I suposed to know if I cannot determine (count) the calories that I eat. Just doesn’t make sense to me. Please explain. I am interested inlearning to judge how many calories I am eating.

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