Each cell in your body needs energy to work and perform its own functions correctly, whether it is a brain cell, a liver cell, or muscle cell, they all need calories to stay alive and keep your body active and healthy.

Your body gets calories from the food you consume daily, mainly from fats, carbs, and protein.

To stay healthy and go through your daily life easily, you need to eat healthy food and watch your calorie intake. If you get less than what your body uses you will lose weight, and on the contrary, if you have more calories than what your body needs it will be stored as fats, so when you need to lose or gain weight it is very important to follow calorie diets. 

[vc_custom_heading text=”Calorie Definition” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23399998″]

Scientists in 1863 defined a calorie as: “the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature on 1 kg of water from 0 – 1 degree Celsius.”

However, in 1925 it became more common to define it in terms of joules, which is the amount of work needed to force one newton through one meter. 1 Calorie = 4.18 joules.

To dietitians and nutritionists, calories are simply defined as a unit of energy you get from food and drinks.

calorie diet for weight loss

[vc_custom_heading text=”Calorie Deficit” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%23399998″]

When you’re trying to lose weight, you need to use a calorie deficit equation and keep the calories you are using bigger than the daily calories you take from your food.

Our bodies need energy even in rest time, to power certain functions such as brain activity, digestion, breathing, circulation, etc., and when you do more physical efforts you need more energy. When you give your body fewer calories than what you’re using in the long term, your body will burn up your fat reserve and you will lose weight.

[vc_custom_heading text=”How many calories do you need a day?” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%23399998″]

Each individual has calorie needs that differ from others, depending on their weight, height, sex, age, metabolism, and daily physical activities.

As a rule of thumb, women need 2000 calories daily and men need about 2500 calories.

food calorie counting

There are many other factors involved in your body’s energy needs, including thyroid hormones, some medications like glucocorticoids, and when you become sick.

[vc_custom_heading text=”Calorie diets classification” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%23399998″]

We can classify diets according to the number of calories you take into 4 main categories:

  • Very low-calorie diet
  • Low-calorie diet
  • Medium calorie diet
  • High-calorie diet

calories deficit

You need to choose the right diet for you and get medical advice, your dietitian will guide you to know which diet is suitable for your needs and health situation. 

In the following paragraphs, you will find all that you want to know about calorie diets and calorie deficit diets.

[vc_custom_heading text=”1: Very low-calorie diet (VLCD)” font_container=”tag:h3|font_size:25|text_align:left|color:%23399998″]

In this diet category, your daily calories intake will be reduced to 800 calories or less, it is very effective and can help you lose weight very fast; it is highly recommended when your BMI is 30 or more.

There are many levels in VLCD starting from 100 calories then 500 calories, 700 calories, and 800 calories. You don’t actually need to limit your food intake to 100 calories for example (which would be very difficult), but you can have low-calorie foods and burn the excess calories with exercise.

[vc_table vc_table_theme=”classic_blue” allow_html=”1″]How%20many%20days%3F,A%20maximum%20of%2012%20weeks|How%20much%20weight%20can%20you%20lose%3F,About%205kg%20(11%20Pounds)%20in%202%20weeks%2C%20it%20helps%20people%20to%20lose%2015%20%E2%80%93%2025%25%20from%20their%20initial%20weight.%20|Nutrients,45%20%E2%80%93%2065%25%20of%20daily%20calories%20from%20carbs%2C%2020%20%E2%80%93%2035%25%20from%20fats%2C%20the%20remaining%20percentage%20from%20protein.%20You%20also%20need%20essential%20vitamins%20and%20minerals%20so%20you%20will%20take%20calcium%2C%20magnesium%2C%20Iron%2C%20vitamin%20C%2C%20Vitamin%20D%2C%20Vitamin%20E%2C%20Folate%2C%20and%20thiamin.|lifestyle%20changes,You%20need%20to%20follow%20an%20exercise%20program%20and%20eating%20health%20food.|Properties,You%20need%20to%20substitute%20your%20normal%20food%20with%20very%20low%20calories%20soups%2C%20shakes%2C%20or%20bars%20to%20reach%20your%20goal.|pros,it%20is%20very%20effective.|Cons,it%20is%20not%20suitable%20for%20everyone%20and%20may%20have%20side%20effects%2C%20so%20it%20should%20be%20done%20under%20medical%20supervision[/vc_table]

Alternatives: Cambridge diet, ABC diet, cabbage soup diet, intermittent fasting.

calorie diet precautions

[vc_custom_heading text=”2: Low calories diet (LCD)” font_container=”tag:h3|font_size:25|text_align:left|color:%23399998″]

To follow a low calories diet plan, you do not need special requirements, because everything you need is already in the supermarket. Just make healthier choices to reduce the calories you get to 1000, 1200, or 1300 calories per day, and you will start losing weight.

[vc_table vc_table_theme=”classic_blue”]How%20many%20days%3F,If%20you%20do%20it%20gradually%2C%20you%20can%20follow%20it%20until%20you%20reach%20your%20goal.|How%20much%20weight%20can%20you%20lose%3F,About%200.5%20-%201kg%20(1%20-%202%20Pounds)%20in%20a%20week%2C%20it%20helps%20people%20to%20lose%20their%20extra%20weight%20safely.%20|Nutrients,40%25%20of%20daily%20calories%20from%20carbs%2C%2030%25%20from%20fats%2C%20the%20remaining%2030%25%20from%20protein.%20You%20also%20need%20essential%20vitamins%20and%20minerals%20so%20you%20will%20take%20calcium%2C%20magnesium%2C%20Iron%2C%20vitamin%20C%2C%20Vitamin%20D%2C%20Vitamin%20E%2C%20Folate%2C%20and%20thiamin.|lifestyle%20changes,You%20need%20to%20follow%20an%20exercise%20program%20and%20eat%20healthy%20food.|Properties,You%20need%20to%20eat%20healthy%20food%20and%20calculate%20your%20calories%20to%20reach%20your%20goal.|pros,it%20is%20effective%2C%20safe%2C%20and%20accessible.|Cons,it%20is%20not%20suitable%20for%20everyone%2C%20you%20may%20feel%20hungry%2C%20you%20should%20keep%20a%20close%20eye%20on%20your%20calorie%20count.[/vc_table]

Alternatives: Keto diet, Atkins diet, Paleo diet.

[vc_custom_heading text=”3: Medium calorie diet plans” font_container=”tag:h3|font_size:25|text_align:left|color:%23399998″]

When you follow this kind of diet you will get between 1500 and 1800 calories daily, so you will still be creating a calorie deficit that can help you lose weight.

Alternatively, you can maintain your ideal body weight by following 2000 calories diet for ladies and 2500 calories for gentlemen. In this case, you will get what your body’s daily calorie needs and stay healthy and in a good shape.

[vc_table vc_table_theme=”classic_blue”]How%20many%20days%3F,What%20to%20do%3F|How%20much%20weight%20can%20you%20lose%3F,0%20-%200.45%20kg%2Fweek%2C%20it%20helps%20people%20to%20lose%20their%20extra%20weight%20safely.%20|Nutrients,45%20-%2065%25%20of%20daily%20calories%20from%20carbs%2C%2020%20-%2035%25%20from%20fats%2C%20the%20remaining%2010%20-%2030%25%20from%20protein.%20You%20can%20get%20your%20essential%20vitamins%20and%20minerals%20from%20your%20food%20or%20take%20a%20supplement.|lifestyle%20changes,It%20is%20better%20to%20follow%20an%20exercise%20program%20and%20eat%20health%20food.|Properties,You%20need%20to%20eat%20healthy%20food%20and%20calculate%20your%20calories%20to%20reach%20your%20goal.|pros,it%20is%20effective%20to%20lose%20weight%20steadily%20and%20safely%2C%20it%20is%20also%20very%20accessible.|cons,you%20should%20calculate%20your%20calories%20count.[/vc_table]

Alternatives: The potato diet, the clear liquid diet, Mediterranean diet.

Calorie diets foods

[vc_custom_heading text=”4: High-calorie diet plans” font_container=”tag:h3|font_size:25|text_align:left|color:%23399998″]

They call it 3000 calories diet and it is designed for weight gaining, you may need to follow this high-calorie diet plan if you are underweight, if you are an athlete and want to increase your muscle mass, or if your lifestyle is very active. Some people need to follow high calories diet because they are suffering from medical conditions like infectious diseases or when they recover from major surgery.

[vc_table vc_table_theme=”classic_blue”]How%20many%20days%3F,You%20can%20follow%20it%20until%20you%20reach%20your%20goal.|How%20much%20weight%20can%20you%20gain%3F,0.2%20%E2%80%93%200.9%20kg%2Fweek.|Nutrients,45%20-%2065%25%20of%20daily%20calories%20from%20carbs%2C%2020%20-%2035%25%20from%20fats%2C%20the%20remaining%2010%20-%2030%25%20from%20protein.%20You%20can%20get%20your%20essential%20vitamins%20and%20minerals%20from%20your%20food%20or%20take%20a%20supplement.|lifestyle%20changes,It%20is%20better%20to%20follow%20an%20exercise%20program%20and%20eat%20healthy%20food.|Properties,You%20need%20to%20eat%20healthy%20food%20and%20calculate%20your%20calories%20to%20reach%20your%20goal.|pros,it%20is%20effective%20to%20gain%20weight%20steadily%2C%20safely%20and%20in%20an%20accessible%20way.|Cons,you%20should%20calculate%20your%20calories%20count.[/vc_table]

Alternatives: Bulking diets, high protein diet.

[vc_custom_heading text=”For quick answers, see our FAQs” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:left|color:%23399998″][vc_custom_heading text=”- How many calories can I eat to lose weight?” font_container=”tag:h3|font_size:25|text_align:left|color:%23399998″]

You need to achieve a calorie deficit, which is the point when your body is using more calories than what you get daily from food and beverages. On average, men’s bodies use 2500 calories daily and women use 2000 calories daily.

[vc_custom_heading text=”- Do exercises count in calorie diets?” font_container=”tag:h3|font_size:25|text_align:left|color:%23399998″]

If you are doing moderate physical activities, do not try to go over your daily calorie intake, but if you are working hard and losing a considerable number of calories, you can replace it with an additional calorie intake.

[vc_custom_heading text=”- How much do I need to reduce my calorie intake to lose weight?” font_container=”tag:h3|font_size:25|text_align:left|color:%23399998″]

You can reduce your daily consumption by at least 500 calories and your body will start losing weight.

[vc_custom_heading text=”- How many calories do you burn while sleeping?” font_container=”tag:h3|font_size:25|text_align:left|color:%23399998″]

Your body burns about 50 calories/ hour while you sleep, so if you are sleeping for 8 hours daily you will lose 400 calories.

[vc_custom_heading text=”- How many calories do I naturally burn a day?” font_container=”tag:h3|font_size:25|text_align:left|color:%23399998″]

On average, men burn 2500 calories/ day and women burn 2000 calories/ day.

kristen carli
I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.


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