It is not a secret that in order to slim down you need to stick to a diet that differs from your current nutritional plan. But what exactly should be different, you may ask. The answer is the caloric value of your meals. We all know that weight loss comes down to consuming less than you burn, and that is where you need a calorie deficit calculator, calories burned calculator, and food calorie calculator. If you need some help understanding how all the calorie counting works and what is a 1200 calorie diet weight loss calculator, then read on!
Many people these days try to figure out the best ways to lose weight. Some start various diets to dictate which type of food to avoid or which dietary component to limit. Others try limiting the time when they have their meals. However, the most effective and safe method is to create an adequate caloric deficit. To do so, and to be able to predict your results, let’s answer the question that so many people are curious about: “How many calories in a pound?”. According to the Cleveland Clinic, 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories (7). So, in one pound of fat, there are around 3,500 calories.
You can use a calorie deficit calculator to calculate how many calories you should consume. Experts recommend reducing your daily energy intake by 500-1,000 calories, which will result in 1-2 pounds (0.5-1 kg) weight loss a week (5). Such a caloric deficit is the safest since it offers you a gradual and sustainable weight loss. An extreme caloric deficit, which leads to a rapid weight loss, on the contrary, bears various health risks, including malnutrition, hair and muscle loss, constipation, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, irritability, and others (10).
Besides a caloric deficit, there is another thing that you need to consider when planning your meals, and that is nutritional balance. If you want to slim down in a healthy way, you need to make sure that you consume healthy foods and avoid unhealthy ones. For example, try to eat up on low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fatty fish, low-fat dairy, beans and legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. On the other hand, keep at bay highly processed foods, foods rich in saturated and trans fats, salt and added sugars, alcohol, and other unhealthy foods.
According to the NHS, an average woman should consume about 2,000 calories a day, while for an average man this number is 2,500 calories (12). However, everybody is different, and each person requires a different amount of calories to lose, maintain or gain weight. The number of calories you burn a day is based on such factors as your age, sex, body composition, level of physical activity, and others (6). To figure out your personal energy requirements, you need to add your BMR (basal metabolic rate), which is the number of calories your body burns while maintaining basic body functions, to the number of calories you spend performing this or that physical activity.
To calculate your BMR you need to know your age, height, and weight. Here is a Mifflin-St Jeor equation to calculate your BMR (1):
So, if you are a 34-year old woman, who weighs 85 kg, with a height of 170cm, the equation for you will look like that:
And if you are a 42-year old man, who weighs 115 kg, and with a height of 181cm, then your BMR is calculated as follows:
Now that you know your BMR, you need to calculate how much energy you spend on physical activity. You can use an existing calories burned calculator to learn how many calories you spend exercising. To get an approximate amount of energy you spend exercising, you need to consider your initial weight, intensity, and duration of an exercise.
So, for example, according to Harvard Medical School, an average 155-pound person burns 48 calories during 5 minutes of running with the speed of 5 miles per hour, while an average 185-pound person burns 56 calories performing the same activity for the same amount of time. Increasing the intensity of your workout increases the amount of spent energy. In other words, the same 155-pound person would burn 60 calories running with the speed of 6 miles per hour for 5 minutes, and 5 minutes of running with the speed of 10 miles per hour will make that person burn 93.6 calories (2).
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As may be clear from the name, a 1200 calorie diet weight loss calculator is based on a 1200 calorie diet. This nutritional plan restricts your daily caloric intake to 1,200, which is adequate for people whose regular caloric intake is usually 1,800-2,200 calories. If you belong to those people, you could lose the recommended 1-2 pounds of fat a week. However, if your usual diet provides you with more than 2,200 calories, then this nutritional plan may be too restrictive for you. If you want to use a 1200 calorie diet weight loss calculator to find out how much weight you could theoretically lose in a week while following this meal plan, then use the following formula:
So, if your current daily energy intake is 2,600 calories, the formula for you will look like this:
Again, please note that it is neither recommended nor safe to stick to a 1,200 calorie diet if your daily caloric intake is over 2,200 unless your doctor or dietitian advises you.
When starting a weight loss journey, you learn how many calories you consume currently, and how many calories you should eat to slim down. And although many people believe that knowing that is enough, that is only the beginning, and there is still a lot of work left to be done since calorie counting doesn’t end on that note. While some fitness fans and pros have learned by heart the nutritional value of the foods they usually consume; some people stick to ready-to-follow nutritional plans with recipes and nutritional value of each dish; others feel super lost with all the types of foods, dietary components, and amount of calories in them. Therefore, before getting down to dieting, first you need to learn how to calculate calories from your food.
Now, for example, if you have a list of foods you can consume, and you think of a recipe that includes all the allowed foods, there are two ways you can find out its caloric value. The first is to try to find the same or the closest recipe to that which you want to prepare. The second is to calculate its value yourself, by adding the nutritional value of all the ingredients. For example, if you think of making 1 serving of a chicken salad, which includes braised skinless chicken breast, salad greens, grape tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and olive oil you can search the nutritional value of all the ingredients separately:
Now add the caloric value and you will get 449 kcal. Wala, that is how you use a food calorie calculator.
No matter which diet or training you choose, it all comes down to eating less than you burn. You may choose the method of creating a caloric deficit yourself, but it is extremely difficult to slim down only by exercising, without making any changes in your diet. On the other hand, you can certainly melt a couple of excess pounds by simply restricting the number of calories you get from food. It is important to create an adequate caloric deficit, since eating too few calories may have negative consequences.
An optimal daily calorie reduction, according to experts, is 500-1,000 calories at most. So, if your regular diet provides you with 1,700 – 2,200 calories a day, then this 1200 calorie diet weight loss calculator will show you a safe result of 1-2 pounds weight loss a week. If not, you need to calculate how many calories your body burns a day, and then make sure that you consume less than that. Make sure to seek the help of a dietitian to adequately plan your diet without potentially harming your health.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!