This is a question I think all of us have wondered before, but not everyone takes the time to research it. I will explain the general idea of how many calories you should be consuming. This writing will require you to focus for a few minutes but I guarantee you will understand the basic concept of how much you should be eating daily by the end of it. All links to each calculations will be at the bottom!
To know how much you should be eating in a day, you must first find your BMR(Basal Metabolic Rate). This is the calculation of the amount of calories your body burns in a day if you were to just be laying in bed the whole time. When you factor in your activity level you will get a general idea of how many calories you burn daily. It is *important* to understand that if you eat more calories than you burn, you WILL gain weight. If you consume less calories than you burn, you WILL lose weight. Also you will remain at the same weight if you eat the same amount of calories as you burn and no matter what you eat these statements will remain true.
I have found that many sources say to adjust your calorie intake in segments of 300 calories. So if you are trying to gain weight and your BMR+activity level is 2500 calories, raise your daily intake to 2800 calories. The same concept applies to losing weight, lower by 300 calories. If you find that when you raise your calories by 300 that you start to gain too much weight then lower it by 150 and continue to track your progress. Remember to set your goal weight gain/loss per week so you can see if your calorie intake is sustaining that. I suggest managing your weight for about 2-3 weeks per calorie adjustment before changing it again because everyone’s weight fluctuates everyday so it will be more accurate if you use a longer period of time to track. If your progress is great after this length of time, then continue with it until you begin to plateau which in that case you will adjust your calories again.
Another important tip is to not change the amount you eat drastically! So if you find that for your goals you should be eating 2000 calories per day but you are eating like 4000, don’t just lower your intake by 2000. Use 300 calorie changement sections, allow your body to adjust. If you don’t, your metabolism will slow down and when people are cutting by a lot right away, they tend to gain the initial weight loss back quicker than they lost it due to deprivation and starvation mode.
Remember that everyone’s body is different. Some people break down food very quickly and some not so fast, it’s a learning experience. There isn’t a set “correct” number of calories everybody should increase or decrease by each month and also I can’t just tell you the exact amount of calories you should be eating. I can only give you a baseline to start from and with you monitoring and not being lazy with it, you can be on a healthy and progressive road to the physique you want.
*Every woman should eat at least 1200 calories each day and every man should consume at least 1800 calories daily.*
If you found value in or liked this information let me know in the comments. Also if you have any questions on something I didn’t touch upon, just ask!