May 072012
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Determining how many calories it takes to lose weight is dependent upon a number of variables. Individuals need to take into consideration how much weight they want to lose, how active they are and if they have any medical conditions that would slow the metabolism. For example, people with a sedentary lifestyle will need to consume less calories in order to lose weight than those who are very active. In addition, people who have certain medical conditions such as a sluggish thyroid may find that they need to cut calories even further in order to achieve their weight loss goals.

Although each person is different in their caloric needs, very low calorie diets are typically not recommended. Some diet experts do not recommend eating under 1200 calories per day, because consuming less than 1200 can slow the metabolism and not fulfill the daily recommended allowance of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Medications may also play a role in the number of calories it takes to lose weight. For example, people who take medications known as beta blockers might require less calories than those not taking them. Beta blockers are medications that lower blood pressure and help regular the heart rhythm. Taking beta blockers may slow down the metabolism and make it more difficult to lose weight. People who take these medications should discuss their weight loss and exercise goals with their health care providers before starting a diet or exercise program. Individuals who take medications such as antihistamines or anti-anxiety medications may also find it difficult to lose weight and therefore, may have to limit their caloric intake even further.

Age may also play a role in how many calories are needed to achieve weight loss. Older people leading a sedentary lifestyle may require less calories, while young people who get at least thirty minutes of brisk exercise daily may be able to consume more calories and still lose weight. In fact, some people who exercise on a daily basis may not even have to alter their caloric intake in order to lose weight, because the added activity burns sufficient calories to sustain a steady weight loss. For those who need guidance to determine how many calories needed for a safe and steady weight loss, they should consult with their physician’s or a registered nutritionist who can tailor make a healthy diet plan structured just for them.

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