So, I like to give advice. I love it when others benefit from it so, I'm going to start a weekly piece of advice called Tuesday's Totally Useful Information a.k.a. TTUI. Now, I'm not an expert on anything but every one can benefit from some good advice at times; so, please take it or leave it but I hope it helps someone someday.
Today's Totally Useful Information: Losing Weight: Counting Calories
One pound equals 3500 calories. Determining how many calories you need daily is your first step to losing weight.
Taken from about.com:
"There is something called the Harris-Benedict formula that uses a mathematical formula to determine your caloric needs based on your sex, weight, and activity level; the result is known as your Basal Metabolic Rate. The U.S. government provides a chart of suggested daily caloric needs as part of the My Pyramid.gov Web site. Additionally, Calorie Count Plus allows you to type in your weight, activity level and weight loss goals and receive caloric intake recommendations when you sign up for a free account."
Personally, I've found a little formula that seems to get an approximate amount of calories you need to maintain the weight you want.
1. Decide what weight you want to be.
2. Figure out what activity level you fall under (11 inactive, 12 moderately active, 13 Very active)
3. Multiply your desired weight by the number by the level of activity that you will fall under. There you have the number of calories you need to meet each day in order to be that weight. You can also take your current weight and times it by your current activity level and that will show you what amount of calories you are currently consuming. You can then determine how many calories you need to cut everyday in order to get to your goal weight.
One last thing, I've found that if I remain active, I'm able to have a few splurge moments during the week, which is motivation for me to be able to continue maintaining my weight and even losing some if I'm very careful on the other times. I feel that if you consider anything "off limits" you will never succeed because you're going to want that even more until you give in and feel awful about it if you eat it. Just eat everything moderately and eventually you'll reach your goals.
Remember it's the safest and most reliable way to lose and keep the weight off if you only lose about 1/2 to 2 lb.s per week. Any more and most likely, you'll gain that weight back eventually.