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What are you doing to stay healthy during this extraordinary period of self-isolation and decreased activity? Walking up and down the stairs in your block of flats? Skipping? Strictly scheduled meal times? Counting calories where you didn’t before? Walking is perhaps the easiest thing to do. Share what you’re doing to keep active and in shape in the blog comments below. Thanks!

How many calories should you be eating per day to achieve your weight loss goals? And how many should you consume to maintain your current weight? Most people don’t know the answers to these questions, because there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Many people overlook the importance of calories when trying to eat a healthy diet, with many weight loss plans focusing on decreasing or increasing certain types of food. But you may be shooting yourself in the foot if you are missing calories out of the conversation.

Many experts will tell you that sustainable, healthy weight loss is a simple equation of decreasing your calorie intake and increasing your activity. If you can establish the number of calories you burn each day, you can calculate the number of calories you need to consume to reach your goals. From here, you can track the calories you consume and burn each day, lose that unwanted fat, boost your energy levels and decrease your risk of a range of health problems. There are even tools on websites and in apps that can help you do it.

Determining the calories you should eat

Your body will use approximately two-thirds of your daily calorie intake to keep its general systems ticking over. This means your heartbeat, the movement of muscles and all other essential bodily functions. The remaining calorie intake fuels your activity, such as walking, exercising, working and playing.

In order to determine your ideal caloric intake, you will need to calculate your daily caloric needs. A good calorie calculator will help with this, taking into account 5 crucial factors:

  • Your sex
  • Your age
  • Your height
  • Your current weight
  • Your activity level

As a general rule of thumb, women are usually recommended to keep their calorie intake within the 1,200 to 1,500 range, and for men, the typical range is 1,500 to 1,800. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, so your own recommendations may be different.

To lose weight, your calorie intake must be decreased. It’s also recommended to increase the number of calories you burn through physical activity like exercise. A good calorie calculator is a powerful tool, but it may also be helpful to get a fat and muscle measurement done in order to attain an accurate body fat measurement. Your overall weight is not always indicative of the amount of body fat you have, and merely weighing yourself won’t always give an accurate picture of your fat loss.

Tracking your calories

You can cut your calorie intake by making minor changes to your diet and exercise levels each day. In addition to calorie calculators, there are also tools around to help you track your calories. You simply have to log your meals and snacks, as well as your exercise, and you’ll get a good idea of your overall calorie intake every day. Extra features like diet recommendations, workouts and analytics of your results can help motivate you to achieve your goals.

You don’t have to make major lifestyle changes to lose fat effectively and achieve your goals.

Getting expert help

The tools for calorie calculating and counting are really helpful, but there is no more powerful way than having experts like nutritionists and personal trainers in your corner. The best way to measure body fat is to have your fat and muscle assessed at regular intervals. When you simply step on the scales, the figure you see doesn’t differentiate between fat loss and muscle gain. Therefore, it may appear that you aren’t ‘losing weight’ simply because the fat loss has been cancelled out by the muscle gain.

With summer approaching, now is your last chance to start making the changes to get your summer body in time for those hot days in the sunshine. Take advantage of the tools available on your smartphone and fitness tracker, and consider seeking expert help to start shredding fat in the most efficient way possible.