How Much Should I Eat To Lose Weight


How much should i eat to lose weight? There are a lot of different factors that come into play when you’re trying to lose weight. Before you can determine how much you should eat, you will first need to get the fundamentals down. This article goes over those fundamental concepts that should be taught when it comes to how much you should eat

What is the correct amount of calories to lose weight?

At a simple level, if you want to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you use up, as long as the food you consume is healthy and nutritious. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), the amount of calories needed daily is on average between 1500 to 2500 per person. So, to know your energy needs, consider the following: the basal metabolism and your physical activity.

Basal Metabolism

Basal Metabolism refers to the number of calories you spend when you are at rest: when you sleep, breathe, eat, as well as the actions of your internal organs. The formula to calculate the Basal Metabolic Rate, best known as the Harris-Benedict equation, can be calculated manually with the following formula:


BMR=66+( 6.2 x weight in Lb.) + (12.7× height in IN) – (6.76 × age in years)


BMR=655+(4.35 x weight in Lb.) + ( 4.7 × height in IN) – ( 4.7 × age in years)

The basal metabolic rate varies according to age, height, and weight; we use different formulas to calculate for men and women. After calculating the BMR, you can now calculate how many calories to eat per day to lose weight.

How to calculate calories to lose weight

The daily caloric needs are different for each person since everyone has their own Basal Metabolic Rate. How do you calculate calories for weight loss? To make this calculation of calories needed at rest, you need to multiply your BMR by a number based on your activity level, such as:

  • BMR x 1.27 = sedentary, little or no exercise.
  • BMR x 1.375= if you are a little active, exercise 1 or 3 days a week.
  • BMR x 1.55= if you are moderately active, you exercise 3 to 5 days a week.
  • BMR x 1.725 100= if you are very active, you exercise 6 or 7 times a week.

These are the daily calories your body must maintain to continue at your current weight. How many calories should you eat a day to lose weight? If you want to lose weight, you will of course have to consume fewer calories per day.

If you need to lose 2 pounds per week, you should stop consuming about 7000 calories (1000 per day, although this is too few calories to be advisable). The recommended way to lose weight healthily is to lose about 1 Lb. per week, that is, to reduce 3500 calories per week. That translates into eating about 1500 calories a day.

If you get fat, it is likely because you are consuming more calories than you expend. If you keep a stable weight, you eat calories equal to your daily expense, but if you lose weight, it is because you are burning more calories than you are consuming.

Therefore, the total calorie expenditure throughout the day is the BMR’s sum, plus the caloric spending produced by daily routines.

It doesn’t matter if the activity is small or big; you will always burn calories, such as: when you sleep, you spend about 10 to 15 kcal per minute. If you spend 1-hour playing, you spend about 100 kcal; when you shower, you spend 30 to 40 kcal per hour.

Anyway, to make it easier for you, here is a calorie calculator where you will see exactly how many you need to ingest daily.

The number of meals a day to lose weight.

A familiar doubt of many people when wanting to lose weight is how many meals a day they should eat. Even though three meals a day are traditional, some nutrition studies have shown that it is much more useful to have five meals a day to lose weight.

When we increase the frequency of daily meals, it is possible to accelerate our metabolism. However, these meals should follow a balanced diet model and a routine of physical exercise, healthy habits, and rest.

The mistake we make is almost always thinking that if you eat fewer times a day or make yourself hungry, then you will lose weight. On the contrary, this causes anorexia and alters the nervous system; you will get a mismatch in the metabolism and gain more weight.

Therefore, consuming five meals a day optimizes your body, and the digestive system will work better when the different nutrients are assimilated. It is also essential to eat healthy food.

How to eat 5 meals a day to lose weight? 

Five meals a day to lose weight:


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and you can eat some carbohydrates to conserve energy throughout the day. Breakfast should contain whole grains, vegetable or animal proteins such as eggs, fish, cheeses, and a drink such as an infusion.


When eating the second meal of the day it is preferred to eat healthy food to avoid snacking and consuming processed products. This snack can be prepared with a slice of wholemeal bread and low-fat ham, goat yogurt, or a piece of fruit.


You have already consumed 2 of your daily meals by this time, so choose foods that provide you with energy, and are low in sugar and medium fat. To introduce the necessary proteins to cover the daily demand, consume fish, chicken, turkey: accompanied by salads and vegetable creams.


This meal is key to your diet because it allows you to skip dinner and it depends on the amount of physical activity you do. This snack is fundamental to arrive with less appetite for your last meal. A person who does physical exercise will need more energy than one who is going to rest.


Dinner is the lightest meal of the day. Therefore, avoid binges because, at night, you need to rest and allow the body to relax. Avoid carbohydrates and eat light foods to not go to bed with a stomach that is too full.

How do you measure portion sizes to lose weight?

How to calculate food portions in a diet? Here, I’m going to tell you how to measure your portion sizes. Although you may think that measuring every amount of food you eat can be difficult, it is not; there are some simple ways to make sure you are eating the right portion sizes.

A recommended serving size is the amount of food you should eat during a meal or snack. However, if you eat more than the recommended amount, you will get more nutrients than you need, but if the size is less than the recommended amount, you will be providing very few nutrients to the body.

To measure foods such as cereals or pasta, use a measuring cup so that the portion is accurate. You can also use a scale, your hands, and everyday objects you use in your home to measure portion sizes.

If you want to measure a piece of beef or poultry, use the palm of your hand; for a 3-ounce serving of fish, measure it with the size of a checkbook, 1/2 cup of ice cream measure it with the size of a tennis ball, for 1/2 cup of cooked rice or pasta, you can also use a tennis ball as a guide.

For fruits and vegetables cut in squares, you can measure the correct size with the fist of your hand. You can measure an apple or orange by comparing the size to a tennis ball; if it’s lettuce, use only four leaves.

Tips for controlling portion sizes

  • Never eat directly from the bag or box. Pour the portion into a container and save the rest.
  • Divide your plate into three parts. Half of your plate should have green vegetables. We should divide the remaining half with whole grains and lean protein.
  • Use small plates. Serve food on smaller plates and put food out of reach to avoid being tempted to eat more.
  • Don’t get distracted when eating. Don’t eat without thinking about what you’re doing. When you’re distracted by watching TV or doing other activities, it will make you eat more. Therefore, eat at the table, focusing your attention on what you are eating.
  • Include low-fat foods. You need to substitute fat-rich foods for others that are lower in fat, using half of what you usually use.
  • Eat satisfying foods. Between meals, if you are hungry, eat a healthy, high-fiber snack. This snack will help you avoid overeating food at the next meal. The most satiating snacks are those that are composed of protein and carbohydrates, along with fiber.

The portion you should eat of each food.

Cereals and derivatives 2.5oz:

Cereals provide energy in complex carbohydrates such as wheat in flour, quinoa, rice, and potatoes. You should eat one portion at each meal. The portion size should be 2.5oz.

If you weigh raw cereals, such as rice and pasta, the portion is equivalent to the amount you pick up in your clenched fist.

If you cook them, the ideal amount fits in your hollowed hand. You should eat a big potato or two small ones.

Vegetables between 5oz and 7oz:

They should be of varied colors. Vegetables provide many benefits to the body. You should eat at least two portions a day, preferably fresh and raw.

The size of a mixed salad of cooked vegetables is between 7oz and 12.5oz. if you prepare them in soups or creams, the quantity increases by 8.5fl oz, the equivalent of a small bowl.

Fruit between 5oz and 7oz:

Although fruit has a very variable sugar content, they are not too unhealthy because they are rich in fiber.

Consume three or more pieces a day, preferably whole, since the fiber is lost when liquefying them. Eat seven small ones like strawberry, grape, cherry, use the measure of a cup, and if the fruits are big such as watermelon, pineapple, or melon, eat two slices.

Fish 5oz:

Fish has a high content of Omega 3 fatty acids, especially blue fish such as tuna, anchovies, mackerel or salmon. Consume 3 or 4 portions during the week, combining white fish with bluefish. A fish portion should be a 5oz fillet, equivalent to your palm’s size and thickness.

White meat 4.5oz:

You should remove the skin and fat in white meats. Consume these meats between 3 and 4 times a week. The portion size should be the size of the palm, and when eating chicken, eat about one-quarter of it.


Consume between 3 and 4 portions per week. The ideal amount is one medium or two small eggs.

Legumes between2oz and 3oz:

Consume 2 to 4 portions per week. If they are raw eat between 2oz and 3oz, the same as a closed fist, and if cooked, whatever fits inside a hollowed-out hand.


The recommended oil to use is extra virgin olive oil. Although it provides a tremendous amount of energy, it does not produce fat. Oil can make you bulky when you use other, less healthy fats to replace it. We recommend 3 to 6 daily portions, which are equivalent to a tablespoon.

How Much Carbs, Fat and Protein Should You Eat Daily to Lose Weight?

Healthy buddha bowl lunch with grilled chicken, quinoa, spinach, avocado, brussels sprouts, broccoli, red beans with sesame seeds

A healthy diet is part of a proper weight loss plan.

There are as many theories on how to lose weight as there are pounds needing to be lost, and one of the newest weight loss trends involves a food macro counter. Macro is shorthand for macronutrient, of which there are three.

Carbohydrates are a macronutrient, as are fat and protein. Eating them in certain percentages is one way to plan a weight loss diet. Where it gets tricky is deciding on those proportions. A diet like Atkins or a ketogenic or paleo diet might have your ratio of carbs, fat and protein as severely restricted as 5:75:25, while the experts at Texas A&M University Health Science Centers recommend a more balanced 30:30:40 ratio.

Figuring out which ratio of carbohydrates, fat and protein works best for you may involve a bit of trial and error because there is no one ratio that will guarantee steady, healthy and maintainable weight loss for everyone. Once you find that balance, you should be able to lose the extra weight and keep it off.


There is no magic carb, protein and fat ratio for weight loss that is guaranteed to work for everyone, so it is best to find the one that works for you.

Understand Weight Loss

If weight loss was merely a matter of burning off more calories than you take in, nobody would ever be overweight. Unfortunately, not all calories are created the same, and the internal makeup of each calorie has a different effect on your body. For example, calories that are mostly insoluble fiber like that found in oat bran can help you feel full for longer and aid in healthy elimination, explain the experts at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Choosing fresh foods and preparing your meals at home can also help you keep to the carb/fat/protein ratio that works for you because it lets you control all of the ingredients as well as your portion sizes, the University of Kansas Medical Center reminds you. Reading labels for prepared foods can also help you make informed choices.

The university also recommends that you eat frequent small meals and healthy snacks and make sure you stay hydrated in order to keep from becoming too hungry and letting crankiness and cravings make your food choices for you. Losing weight requires a commitment to nutrition, exercise, hydration and sleep in order for weight loss to be healthy and sustainable.

Comprehend Your Carbohydrates

There are two types of carbohydrates, explains Deborah Murphy, MS, RD, at Food and Nutrition. The first is simple carbohydrates, and the second is complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are processed very quickly by your body. Simple carbs are basically sugar and can cause an insulin spike as your body tries to process it, explains Murphy. Once that is done, your blood sugar level drops, which can cause a loss of energy and may prompt your brain to send out hunger signals.

Complex carbohydrates take longer for your body to process, Murphy says. Because they are not broken down so fast, any sugars they contain do not flood your bloodstream. This means that your pancreas does not have to release insulin to mop up all of the extra sugar and get it stored away. This helps give your body a steady, slow stream of energy rather than the sugar rush and energy drop common when your afternoon snack of choice is a donut.

The best way to ensure that the carbohydrates in your ratio of carbs, fat and protein are complex carbs is to stick with whole foods, Murphy advises. Stay away from anything processed or refined such as white sugar, bleached flour, white rice, pasta, white bread, cookies, pastries, breakfast cereals, chips and crackers that are not whole grain. Choose whole grains such as brown rice, oats, popcorn, quinoa and other complex carbs such as beans, edamame, lentils, nuts and seeds.

Find Out About Fat

Fat is necessary to a healthy diet, reminds Liz Weinandy, RD of the University of Ohio – Wexner Medical Center. Dietary fats are required to help you metabolize vitamins A and D, to cushion your organs, make hormones, feed your brain, help your growth and development and provide essential fatty acids. Weinandy also points out that fat is burned to provide energy. There are four basic types of fat:

  • Monounsaturated fat
  • Polyunsaturated fat
  • Saturated fat
  • Trans fats

The healthiest types of fat are the unsaturate_d variety, explains Weinandy. These include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are found in avocados, nuts, olive oil and seeds. Polyunsaturated fats are found in chia seeds, salmon, sesame seeds and walnuts. Unsaturated fats help raise the levels of good cholesterol and lower the levels of bad, explains Weinandy. _Saturated fats are found in animal products and can raise your levels of bad cholesterol. Trans-fats are the least healthy and should be avoided altogether.

Appreciate Your Protein

Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of all life. Amino acids come in all shapes and sizes, and your body can put them together, take them apart, rearrange them and put them back together to make whatever it needs. Your body requires 20 amino acids in order to function, explains Cedars-Sinai Clinical Nutrition Services’ administrative dietitian Stephanie Cramer. Of those 20 amino acids, your body can manufacture 11, but the other nine must be acquired through dietary means, Cramer says.

Protein comes from two sources, Cramer explains. Animal proteins such as those that come from meat, poultry, eggs and dairy contain all of the nine amino acids that your body cannot produce, making them complete proteins. Protein from plant-based sources such as beans, legumes, seeds, nuts, whole grains and leafy green vegetables such as kale and broccoli do not, so it is best to combine them with foods that provide the missing amino acids. Quinoa is the only grain which contains all nine amino acids, Cramer says.

Protein is also available in the form of whey powder and in soy-based products such as soy milk, soy yogurt and tofu as well as in edamame, which are soybeans, Cramer reminds you. When deciding upon which kind of protein to choose for your protein ratio, it is best to mix it up. Cramer recommends concentrating more on plant-based proteins because too much meat can raise your risk of denser pressure, ischemic heart disease, obesity, Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

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