Question: I want to lose weight safely and keep it off. How many calories should I consume daily?
Answer: We all have different energy requirements. These energy requirements (referred to as TER for Total Energy Requirements) are calculated taking into account a number of variables including sex, age, height, activity levels, current weight, lean muscle mass, bone structure and activity levels. If you want to lose weight gradually and permanently; ensure that the calories you take in are almost always less than the calories your body requires on any given day. To keep you going as you have been, your body then uses stored fat to make up for the energy shortfall. If you consume about 300-500 calories per day less than your calculated TER, you will lose weight safely at a rate of approximately 1-2 pounds per week. As a general rule, never reduce your total calorie intake to less than 1 200 calories per day, since too little food can be counterproductive. For a free TER calculator and food journal to track your daily calorie intake, try these free weight loss tools.