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belly-2354_640A weight loss calculator is one of the many tools available to someone who is trying to lose weight. There are two most commonly available types of weight loss calculators available online. One type gives you an estimate of how long it will take to reach your weight goal based on what your calorie intake is. The second type gives you how many calories you need to consume in order to reach your weight goal by a certain date.

However, the question still remains: how do you lose the weight?

Research shows that diets individually­ designed to create a daily calorie deficit of 500 to 1000 calories are appropriate to achieve progressive weight-­loss results of 2­5 pounds per week. These diets result in an average total weight loss of 44 pounds over the course of 12 weeks. The slow and steady rate allows your body time to adjust and will help you be more likely to keep the weight off in the long ­term. Thus, the standard dietary therapy for weight­-loss is a nutritionally ­balanced, low­-calorie diet ranging from 800­-1200 calories per day.

Keep in mind that although reducing the total calorie intake is essential to weight loss, restricting too much can be harmful to your health. You must take into account any medical conditions that you may have or could potentially develop due to the daily calorie deficit. Seeing a nutritionist/dietitian/bariatrician or participating in a medically­ supervised weight loss program can help you lose weight in a healthy manner.

The composition of the calories is also just as important, because you want to be losing weight from your fat storage and not from your muscles mass. Your body lean mass is working and using energy whereas your adipose tissue is not as beneficial. At rest, one pound of muscle burns 5­10 calories whereas one pound of fat only burns 2­3 calories.

Another factor that will affect your daily calorie intake is the amount of physical activity you participate in. On a day that you exercise, your body will require more nutrients in order to balance out the energy used for that work out. Again, the source of those calories are important and will make a difference in your performance.

The weight-­loss process is not only a physical change but also an entire mind­ and body transformation. A weight loss calculator is just one of the many tools to help you lose weight, but it should absolutely not be used on its own. Counting calories alone may be a quick and easy way for you to see fast temporary results. However, it will not help you lose and maintain the weight in the long run. There is definitely a healthy range in which to achieve your weight loss goals while balancing medical conditions, food sources, physical activities, and overall lifestyle.  

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