When it comes to taking the question into consideration, there are a few simple factors you need to take into account when answering this question. First off if you are female you need around 2000 calories a day to maintain your current weight and if you are a male you need around 2700 calories a day. BUT these numbers are influenced by a host of different factors. Like your height and weight and what type of lifestyle you live and exercise level.
So if you are eating 3000 calories a day and gaining weight you need to monitory how much weight you are gaining in a week while averaging this 3000 calories per day diet. So say you are gaining a pound a week. A pound equals 3500 calories. So in order to MAINTAIN your current weight, then you need to eat 500 calories less PER DAY. And even less calories if you want to lose weight.
Now this is how you find how many calories you need to maintain your weight but like I said these numbers are AVERAGES. To get more specific, you need to figure out your Basil Metabolic Rate (BMR). This number represents the amount of calories you burn through the day just living, not counting level of exercise.
Then you will need to figure out your exercise level, ranging from Very Little to Heavy Exercise levels. Depending on where you categorize, you will times your BMR caloric amount by a certain figure (refer to chart below). But first to get your BMR. The BMR calculation is a bit tough if you aren’t a math major so instead, head over to a site that is dedicated to create PERSONAL BMR’s. It will allow you to get your own customized result here. After you get your result, come back and multiply your number with your level of exercise.
We are going to use National Academy of Sports Medicine’s (NASM) chart to refer to as I became certified through them. They list the following categories, which I want you to choose the one you fall under.
- Very Little If Any Exercise – BMR x 1.22
- A Light Amount Of Exercise – BMR x 1.375
- Moderate Amount of Exercise – BMR x 1.55
- Heavy Exercise Levels – BMR x 1.725
- Extra Heavy Exercise Levels – BMR x 1.9
So now that you know your BMR, multiply it by the amount above that you fall under for your level of exercise. So for example you BMR is 2500 and your exercise level is Moderate. You equation would be as follows: 2500 x 1.55 = 3875. It is as simple as that my friends. So in this case 3875 would be your grand total of how many calories you need to maintain your weight.
Again like we said, these numbers are AVERAGES. So they can be incredibly accurate, but they can also be off a couple hundred calories. This can be due to a host of factors like: slow or fast metabolism, genetics and the type of food you are eating among other things. This is why I strongly suggest that you TRACK the amount of food you are eating each day. This is how you will find YOUR personal TDEE instead of a number from the generic formula.
Maintaining Weight Loss
So the same formula really applies to the amount of calories you need to lose weight and maintain it. You will find your TDEE and like we said above, eight less than it OR do more exercise. So you can either eat less calories. Or you can eat the same amount of food and do some sort of exercise that equates to you burning a good amount of calories. I suggest you lose a pound a week. It is a healthy amount and easy to gauge. Once you hit your weight loss goal, then you will want to find out what your TDEE is at the new desired weight and maintain that number.
So there you have it! You now know the exact amount of calories you need to stay at the weight you are currently at. As well as what you need to do to maintain your hard earned weight loss weight!