Each person’s daily calorie needs are different, depending on whether the person wants to maintain, lose, or gain weight. In addition, several other factors also affect the need for calories per day, such as gender, age, lifestyle, and height and weight.
Calories are a measure of the amount of energy contained in food or drink intake. Calories can also be in the form of energy burned during physical activity.
If you want to lose weight, your total daily calorie intake and expenditure must be less than your daily calorie requirement. On the other hand, if you want to gain weight, you need to consume more calories.
If the total daily calories from your nutritional intake and those that come out of your physical activity are equivalent to your daily calorie needs, your weight will be balanced.
Calorie Needs by Age
In general, the average daily calorie requirement for an adult male is 2,500 calories, while that of an adult woman is around 2,000 calories. However, this number is actually influenced by various factors, one of which is age.
With age, especially when entering old age, a person’s activity generally tends to decrease. As a result, older people no longer need as much calorie intake as before.
Meanwhile, for active children or teenagers, daily calorie needs range from 1,000–2,000 calories. Teenagers can range from 1,400 to 3,200 calories per day. Just like adults, boys need more calories per day than girls.
Natural Ways to Burn Calories to Lose Weight
The thing to do if you want to lose weight is to reduce your calorie intake while working to burn more calories, so that your total daily calories match your caloric needs.
In adults, to lose about 0.5 kg of body weight per week, a reduction or deficit of about 500–750 calories per day is required. So to lose weight, the estimated total calories needed for women are 1200-1500 calories, while men are 1500-1800 calories per day.
However, cutting calories doesn’t mean you have to feel hungry. Some healthy diet and lifestyle changes can help you lose weight in a healthy way. Here are some of them:
1. Consume more protein
Adding protein to your diet is the simplest and most effective way to lose weight. A study shows that protein can increase the body’s metabolic rate and burn more calories. A high-protein diet is known to burn 80 to 100 calories per day.
Consuming protein intake is also filling and has been shown to fight overeating, thereby leading to efficient weight loss. But don’t forget, you should still balance protein consumption with fiber and vitamin consumption from fruits or vegetables.
2. Avoid drinks that contain sugar
The harmful effects of sugar consumed in excess are not only weight gain, but also a decrease in overall health and an increased risk of various diseases. One of them is diabetes.
If you want to lose weight, you are advised to limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks that are high in sugar, including candy, packaged chocolate, soda, fruit juices, and chocolate milk.
3. Drink more water
Another simple way to lose weight is to drink lots of water. Studies have shown that drinking enough water can increase metabolism. Drinking 2 liters of water or about 8 glasses of water per day can burn about 96 calories.
In addition, drinking lots of water also helps reduce hunger. Drinking 500 ml of water half an hour before a meal can help you reduce the number of calories you consume at mealtime.
4. Reduce carbohydrate intake
Eliminating carbohydrate intake is also a very effective way of losing weight. Research shows that a low-carb diet can burn twice as many calories as a low-fat diet.
5. Do exercise
Exercise is very important in the process of losing weight because it can burn calories, maintain muscle, and increase the body’s metabolism. If you find it difficult to reduce your calorie intake from food, you can lower your calorie intake by burning it through exercise.
You can do a variety of sports, including weight training. If you can’t go to the gym, try doing exercises yourself at home, such as sit ups, squats, pull ups or push ups.
Now, there are many tools or applications that can be used to help calculate calorie needs per day. If necessary, you can consult a doctor or nutritionist to lose weight by maintaining calorie intake and expenditure according to calorie needs per day.
To lose weight, there are many types of diets that can be done. One such diet is the VLCD diet, which limits large amounts of calories. However, this diet and other diets that cause drastic weight loss are not recommended in the long term because of the risk of causing various health problems.