Should You Pay Attention to Calorie Intake?

How many American women are happy with their figure?  Chances are, nearly every woman with the slightest amount of extra weight is less than fully pleased with her looks.  While many diets, theories, and super pills abound, the basics of weight loss are actually quite simple.  It only makes sense:  what goes in must be equivalent to what goes out via caloric burning.  In other words, caloric intake for women should be less than the caloric output their bodies are utilizing, if they want to lose weight.

Supposedly, the formula for finding out just how many calories you need is strictly numerical:

655 plus (4.35 x your weight in pounds) + (4.7 x your height in inches) – (4.7 x your age in years) .  After finding this number, I multiply it by my activity factor.

So let’s say that I weigh 150 pounds and wish to know how many calories my body uses in a day.  So we start with multiplying 4.35 by 150.  This equals 652.5.  Now take my height, 62 inches, and multiply that by 4.7 to get 291.4.  Lastly, we’ll take my supposed age of 23 times 4.7 to get 108.1.  Add the first two numbers together, throwing in 655 (don’t ask me where they came up with that number!) to get 1,598 calories.  Take away a whopping 108.1 to get 1,490 calories my body uses when in a resting state (BMR).

The final step is to take your BMR and multiply it by your activity factor.  Real athletes, body builders, and amazing people like them get the highest factors.  But that’s not me.  No ma’am, I exercise all right, four to five times a week, but not for hours on end each day.  So I’m giving myself the  a slightly active label, although I really think I deserve to be known as moderately active.  For those who are slightly active,  you multiply your BMR by 1.375.  So my grand total of calories that my body needs daily comes to a whopping 2, 048 calories.

In order to lose weight, by the books, I should cut back on calorie consumption by 500 calories.  Good food choices will help you stretch out your calories over the day so that you will not feel deprived and hungry.

Now if you’re like me, it seems like you eat like a bird but still gain.  You might even be eating less than your formulated number supposes.  How frustrating!  According to the formula, you should be losing weight, but the scale says otherwise.  Unfortunately, the best calorie intake for women depends much on their own bodies.  For one, your individual needs for caloric consumption could very possibly differ from the formula’s predictions.    Thyroid issues, metabolic issues, and a host of other complications can interfere with your weight loss.  Dehydration is another major issue that most people don’t even consider.  Water is so important to accelerate your metabolism!  Lastly, it is possible that you are eating too little, and thus your body is holding on to each and every calorie.  All of these can mess with your body’s ability to lose weight.

With all these variables, there are a few tips that can easily reduce calorie intake for women without depriving.  For one, eat plenty of veggies.  Vegetables are a great way to feel full and eat very little calories.  Secondly, watch your processed foods and dairy consumption.  It is not vital to stay away from these completely, although I highly recommend doing so; however, these two food groups are chock full of calories.  Only a little piece will not be worth the number of calories it holds.   And lastly, drink water!!! Women should be consuming between 2-3 quarts daily, and more if you are sick or at a high altitude.  Water will work miracles in your weight loss journey and overall health.

Weight loss doesn’t have to be a complicated matter.  For women, calorie intake should, although this varies, stay around 1400 calories if you wish to lose weight.  Bottom line:  if you can simply reduce the number of calories you are eating, you will be well on your way to a body you will love.

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