On a doctor’s visit a few years ago, my cholesterol was a bit high and I was tipping the scales a tad too high. I asked my doctor for a suggested diet and he said, without flinching:
“1800 calories a day”.
“That’s it” I said.
“That’s it, all the rest is just commentary”, he replied.
Many years later, David and I are working on the Brevedy Diet, a pleasurable, sociable and doable diet. What we found is that my doctor was right – 1800 calories a day is the magic number for men. Let’s see how that number is arrived at.
The Average Sedentary Man Burns 2,300
The chart on the right (from WebMD), shows that for sedentary males, who don’t exercise regularly, the amount of calories they need for daily energy is in the 2,300 calories a day range.
Burn 3,500 to Lose 1 Pound, So Eat 1,800 a Day
If you burn 3,500 calories more than you consume, you will lose one pound. Over the course of a week, if you burn 500 calories more than you consume each day, you will lose a pound. So if most men burn 2,300 calories a day and they eat 1,800 calories a day, they will lose 1 pound a week, which is considered a safe for weight loss target by most medical experts.
Your Mileage May Vary
The average sedentary woman burns 1,800 calories a day, so to lose a pound a week, she needs to reduce her calories consumption to 1,300 calories a day. If you exercise moderately for 30 minutes a day, you will burn another 150 calories, if you exercise vigorously, you will burn another 300 calories.
Your age and weight will also determine how many calories you burn daily. However, at the end of the day, Doc was right – it’s 1800 calories a day (1,300 for women) for healthy weight loss, and all the rest is just footnotes.