If you’re wondering how many calories you should eat daily, then keep in mind that people’s bodies are different. Since people are so drastically different, we all have different needs when dieting.
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Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to weight loss or weight gain. However, the good news is that by doing a bit of research, you’ll be able to create a calorie meal plan that’s customizable to meet your needs.
Four Categories of Weight Loss
To calculate your customizable calorie meal plan, you need to think of four categories of your life to create your diet approach. Once you do that, you’ll be able to figure out the best number of calories you can ingest daily to meet your weight and fitness goals. So, we will cover those four areas below, which include your body, your body fat, your activity level, and your goal.
Category #1: Your Body
You’ll first need to consider a few things about yourself and your body before you can make your calorie meal plan. So, think about your current weight, age, height, and gender. Once you know that, you’ll be able to start factoring in an approach and a goal.
Category #2: Your Body Fat
Knowing your body fat might sometimes be an optional step. However, it is essential if you want to make a calorie meal plan that is as accurate as possible. It’s important to know if you have a high level or a low level of body fat. If you aren’t sure, you can use a body fat percentage calculator to help you out.
Category #3: Your Activity Level
You also need to assess your amount of daily activity, and factor that into your calorie meal plan. When considering your activity level, make sure you determine how much exercise you partake in weekly honestly. That way, you can make an accurate calorie meal plan. Honesty is essential when reviewing your activity level because how active you are can dramatically differentiate how many calories you should eat daily. So, be honest with how much you work out weekly and about how many calories you burn off daily.
Category #4: Your Goal
The last thing you’ll need to factor in for your calorie meal plan is your overall goal. So, your goal will depend on whether or not you are trying to lose weight or gain weight. Once you assess that, figure out your purpose and monitor your progress throughout the first two weeks of your calorie meal plan. When you do your monitoring, again be honest with yourself, but also be realistic. You don’t want to be too aggressive with your weight loss or weight gain goals because you might wind up not feeling well. Not feeling well can curtail your overall progress. Make sure you approach your weight loss or weight gain plan in a healthy way.
What’s Your Daily Calorie Intake?
After you’ve figured out your goal with weight loss or weight gain, you’ll be able to assess how many calories you should eat. Much of that will depend on whether you want to gain or lose weight. However, remember that whatever calorie plan you come up with will estimate what you’ll need to start with, and you may need to adjust as you go along. So, be ready to adapt as you see fit, and make sure you play around with the calorie count after a couple of weeks to see if you need to go up or down.
So, don’t forget to recalculate how many calories you’ll need to eat as you lose or gain weight to adjust correctly to your new weight. Also, keep in mind that your body will eventually adapt to the new calorie amount and hit a plateau, which is often frustrating to experience during weight loss.
How to Handle a Plateau
If you notice that your weight loss is slowing down as you are getting nearer to your weight loss goal, and you’ve already dramatically reduced your calorie intake, you may be nearing a weight loss plateau. However, if that happens, there are a few things you can do to address it.
There are a few strategies you can utilize if you notice you’ve hit a weight loss plateau. If you’ve already reduced your calories down to about as little as you can handle, don’t worry about cutting calories any further. You can do a few other things to lose more weight that don’t involve eating less.
One thing you can do is increase how active you are throughout the day. For example, start taking the stairs at work instead of using the elevator. Increase your cardio and try to walk, run, or cycle an extra ten minutes each workout. A little boost with your weight training can also help you drop calories quickly.
Other things you can do to help you reduce your weight is intermittent fasting, or manipulating your micronutrient ratios.