Losing weight is a worthy goal. If you're a 245-pound woman or man, there are a few variables to consider when you're calculating your daily food intake.
If you're a 40-year-old woman who is 5-foot, 5-inches tall and weigh 245 pounds, this Mayo Clinic calculator suggests you should consume about 2,000 calories a day if you get a little light activity, and 1,850 pounds if you get no activity.
Make Your Calories Count
Congrats on taking up the challenge of getting leaner and healthier. But losing weight isn't about instant gratification. You didn't gain those pounds all at once, and you can't lose them too quickly, either.
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Anytime you decide to undertake a weight loss plan, discuss it with your doctor to make sure you don't have any underlying health issues that may be compromised by your new diet. Then, tailor your diet around whole, unprocessed foods. Many processed foods contain hidden sugars and fat, and eliminating these may potentially eliminate a major source of high-calorie foods.
Once you've decided to eliminate high-calorie foods that are less nutritious, take stock of the rest of your diet. Harvard Health says 1 to 2 pounds a week is a realistic weight loss goal. To lose 1 pound, you need to eat 3500 fewer calories, the Mayo Clinic says. Over seven days, that's 500 calories a day. So by cutting out 500 calories a day, you should lose 1 pound per week, if you continue with your normal activities.
Weight Loss Calculator
As you lose weight, you'll need to eat a little less, according to the Mayo Clinic. That's because of changes that occur in the body as a result of the weight loss. If you're losing 1 pound each week, after 25 weeks you'll have shed 25 pounds. Your weight should drop from 245 to 220. The calories you'll need to take in to maintain 220 pounds are a little less than what you'd eat to maintain 245 pounds.
If you're a 40-year-old woman who weighs 245 pounds, and you eat 500 fewer calories each day, you should lose 1 pound a week. Losing 1 to 2 pounds a week is the rate the Mayo Clinic suggests for healthy weight loss.
If you're a 40-year-old male who is 5-foot, 10-inches tall and weigh 245 pounds, and you get no activity, you need 2,200 calories to maintain your weight. This is according to the Mayo Clinic Calorie Calculator. If you are somewhat active, you need 2,450 calories to maintain your weight.
When dieting, you want to make sure you still take in enough calories to stay healthy, says Harvard Health. Women should never eat less than 1,200 calories a day, and men should never eat less than 1,500 calories a day, in order to get enough nutrients. Keep this in mind when you're using a weight-loss calculator.
Read Labels, Watch Portions
Counting those calories is easier than it might seem, says the Mayo Clinic. Read the labels of packaged foods. When you cook from a recipe, most recipes include calorie counts per serving. Make sure you are eating a true serving, and not taking in more calories than you think.
When you're eating out, remember that many restaurants serve portions that are larger than a typical serving, says the American Heart Association. Split a large dinner or salad with a friend. At home, don't try to consume all your food in one sitting. Put leftovers away before serving, and save for another meal.
Read More: How Many Calories Should I Eat at Breakfast?
Keep It Interesting
To ease the tedious job of counting calories, the American Heart Association suggests you use this time to experiment a little with your food. If you love ice cream, puree some berries and swirl them into some plain, low-fat yogurt. If you love pretzels and chips, try unsalted nuts, whole grain crisp crackers or plain popcorn, spiced up with seasonings.
Swap out sweet teas and sodas for unsweetened iced tea with lemon. Or add fruit slices to club soda over ice. Instead of that fancy mocha coffee with whipped cream, which can be a whopping 400 calories, have a small latte with nonfat milk and top it with cinnamon.
The Mayo Clinic suggests these tips to keep you motivated:
- Start small. Eat a little less than what you think you need. If you get seconds, make it veggies or fruit.
- Eat from plates, not packages. Eating from a package doesn't give you a sense of how much you're eating.
- Check food labels. Labels let you know if that serving you're eating is actually one or two.
Move, Just a Bit
Consider adding in a half-hour of moderate activity per day. Harvard Health says that if you are sedentary, you should build more activity into your day when losing weight. That can mean brisk walking, active gardening, even climbing stairs. Just do something that gets your heart rate up a bit, while at the same time eating less sugar, less fat and leaner protein.
By incorporating these small changes into your life, you can see big results in your health. You can also maintain that new weight loss better than if you tried to lose the weight quickly. You can say goodbye forever to that 240 lb female or male you once were.