You are struggling with excess weight. You have tried doing different exercises and crash diets to lose weight. But you still haven`t seen a slight of a budge in your weight scale. Now, you are wondering whether weight loss can ever be possible for you. Don`t be disheartened as weight loss is actually possible.  The thing is you need to do it the right way. In order to do it in a right way, you should be able to plan your daily calories to lose weight. You should know how many calories per day you should eat to lose weight.

calories to lose weight

Planning your daily calories is utmost important if you wish to lose weight. You should know how to plan your calories in your day according to macro nutrients. In this article, we will enlighten you on how to plan calories to lose weight. Reading this article, you will be able to understand what macro nutrients are. And, how macro nutrients are an important part of calorie planning to lose weight? This article will include all the information which will help you plan calories to lose weight.

  1. What is a calorie?
  2. How calorie is measured in your Food?
  3. Determine how many Calories to Lose Weight?
  4.  How can you Cut Calories to Lose Weight?
  5. Planning Calories to Lose Weight

What is a Calorie?


A calorie is a unit measure of energy which is used to represent energy from various sources. It is serving as a unit of energy in fields of Chemistry and Physics. But if you view calorie in the light of nutrition, it is little different. The amount of calories you eat in your food is actually a Kilo calorie i.e. 1000 cal or 1 K cal. It is mostly denoted as K cal, C, Nutritional Calories or Food Calories. So, if you are eating 100 Calorie food that mean you are actually consuming 100 K cal.

How Calorie is measured in your Food?

calories to lose weight

You probably have understood now what a calorie is. But do you know how a calorie is measured? A Nutritional Calorie is made by combining the three macro nutrients namely Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats. One Gram of Protein and One Gram of Carbohydrate both contain 4 Calories. A one gram of Fat contains about 8 Calories.

Your body needs energy to perform its daily functions including moving, breathing, pumping blood and so on. And, this energy is generated from the food you eat. So, to plan calories to lose weight, you need to first calculate how many calories per day should you eat?

How many Calories to Lose Weight?

How many calories per day you should eat to lose weight depends upon various activities you perform daily. In order to lose weight, you should eat fewer calories than your body needs daily. Eating fewer calories than what your body needs will put your body into a calorie deficit mode. This calorie deficit will help you lose weight. So, how to cut down calories from your daily diet and, how many calories to cut down?

how many calories to lose weight

In order to enter into calorie deficit mode, you need to determine how much calories you need per day. Once you calculate your calorie expenditure, you can plan your calories to lose weight. How many calories you burn daily depends upon factors like your age, genetics, sex, metabolism and your lifestyle. A person having an active lifestyle will burn more calories as compared to a person having a sedentary lifestyle. So, how to calculate the amount of calories your body is burning daily?

Determining TDEE for calculating calories to lose weight

The best approach to get an idea on how many calories your body is burning on daily basis is to start by calculating your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure). The TDEE will give you a glimpse of how many calories your body is spending to perform its daily functions.

Let us get to the Equations:

The TDEE Equation includes two terms namely BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and Activity Factor. The BMR refers to the amount of calories your body burns at rest. The Activity Factor depends upon your lifestyle whether you are a sedentary or an active person. Let us give you details on how to calculate all the related terminologies mentioned here.

  • TDEE= BMR x Activity Factor
  • BMR (Men) = 66 + (13.7 X Weight in Kg) + (5 X Height in Cm) – (6.8 X Age In years)
  • BMR (Woman) = 655 + (9.6 X weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)

After calculating your BMR, you need to know your Activity Factor. Once you are able to calculate both the BMR and the Activity Factor, you can easily determine your TDEE.

 Type of Activity  Activity Factor
 Sedentary (Little to no activity)  1.2
 Little active (Strength training for 2-3 days a week or similar)  1.375
 Moderate Activity (Strength Training for 3-5 days a week or similar)  1.55
 Highly active (Strength training for 3 to 5 days and 1 to 2 days of cardio in a week)  1.725
 Extreme Activity(Training for 2 times a day with heavy weight training and cardio in a week)  1.9

Getting your TDEE calculated, you can understand how many calories your body needs to have daily. This is the baseline for you. Now, if you wish to gain weight, you will be eating more calories than the baseline. And, if you are trying to lose weight, you should eat fewer calories than the baseline. So, how can you cut calories to lose weight?

Note: Don`t cut down your calories below your BMR. It can lead to a slowdown in your metabolic processes which leads to a halt in your important body functions.

How to cut Calories to lose weight?

You need to maintain a calorie deficit mode in order to lose weight. But do you know how many calories you need to cut to see weight loss? In order to lose a pound, you need a calorie deficit of 3500 calories. If you maintain a daily deficit of 500 calories for a week, you can lose 1 pound of weight.

how to cut calories per day

You need to cut calories to lose weight. But, you should not immediately cut down a lot of calories from your diet. Start slowly by cutting down 200 calories per day. This gradual cut down in calories will help your body make a smooth transition towards weight loss. Also you can try these effective tips to cut down calories to lose weight.

Cut Calories by Staying Away from Emotional Hunger

A lot of individuals confuse their emotional hunger with the actual hunger. This can lead to over eating and you can unknowingly add unplanned calories in your day. You should stay away from emotional hunger. Always ask yourself that you are actually hungry or eating due to some emotional pleasure.

 Cut Calories by using Small Portions

Make a habit of using smaller plates instead of bigger plates. A 10 inch plate can help you eat 20% to 25% less from when you eat in a 12 inch plate. This way you can cut a minimum of 500 calories from your day.

Food Swaps to Cut Calories

Swapping some foods with other healthy alternative options can help you cut around 500 calories from your day. A successful weight loss can be achieved by making small changes and not by flipping everything up and down. The food swaps are the small tweaks but sure can get you big difference on your weight scale [1].

Protein and Vegetables in every meal to cut Calories

Including a serving of Protein will help you cut calories. Having a serving of protein in every meal can fill you up more than other macro nutrients. And, this feeling of being full will help you stay away from overeating and craving for sugar. Also, including a serving of veggies in your meal will help you cut on heavy calorie foods. For this purpose, you can include protein rich vegetables in your meal.

Cut Calories by doing Exercise

If you are among those who can`t cut many calories from their diet and still wish to do weight loss. You can include exercise in your regime to lose weight. Exercise will keep your metabolism in running state. Your body tends to slows down the body functions to compensate the calorie restriction. Also, exercising before breakfast can help you burn up to 280 calories more in your day [2].

Read your Product Labels to cut calories

Reading product label is utmost important these days. Most of the packaged food you consume these days contain processed ingredients. The oils and refined sugars contained in these foods can quickly add on extra calories in your day. So it becomes important you read your product labels and check its nutritional values before eating.

Planning Calories to lose weight

Cutting calories to lose weight is the first step in your weight loss journey. You have also understood how to cut calories to lose weight. But to lose weight, you also need to plan calorie intake from macro nutrients. You should know how many calories to eat from Carbohydrates, Protein and Fats. It is only after this calorie planning, you can aim to lose weight.

how many calories should i eat

A point also to mention here is that all the calories created are not equal. And you have to eat healthy to lose weight. The 100 calories from junk food are not same as 100 calories from a healthy food. The Metabolic Pathways for both these foods will be different and they will act differently in your body.  So, it is important that you understand how to plan your calories to lose weight.

Understanding Macro Nutrient Calories to Lose Weight

We have already mentioned above that how a calorie is made. And, how many calories are contained in 1 gram of Carbohydrate, Protein and Fat. If you have understood this simple science of macro nutrients, you can simply plan your calories to lose weight.

Every individual requires a different amount of macro nutrient than the other person. It depends upon the person`s goal whether he or she is looking to gain weight, lose weight or to maintain the current physique. Let us give you an insight on how to plan your macro nutrient intake with help of a reference picture.

Weight Loss Calculator

How to Calculate Calories to lose weight?

In order to lose weight, you need to have 30% calories from Carbohydrates, 45% calories from Proteins and 25% calories from Fats daily. So, suppose if you are currently on a 1600 calorie plan and losing weight. You should consume 480 Calories from Carbohydrates, 720 calories from Proteins and 400 Calories from Fats. Doing little more calculations, you can figure out how many grams of these Macro nutrients you should eat. This will count to 120 grams of Carbohydrates, 180 grams of Proteins and 50 grams of Fats.

Also Read: See how Athletes are achieving the much needed body composition?

The Bottom Line

Losing weight overnight is not possible. There is even no miracle pill that can melt your fat. The only way to lose weight is to go under a calorie deficit mode. Also, weight loss is a steady process and will take time to happen. You should stay patient and indulge in well planned nutritional diet according to your calorie needs.


[1] K. A. FETTERS, “24 Food Swaps That Slash Calories,” [Online]. Available:
[2] J. Davidson, “20 Ways To Cut 500 Calories A Day,” [Online]. Available: