# How much calories should I eat for cutting?

Cutting calories is one of the most effective ways to lose fat. But determining the right calorie intake for fat loss can be confusing. This comprehensive guide will teach you exactly how to calculate your calories for successful fat loss.

## How Many Calories Should You Cut For Fat Loss?

A moderate calorie deficit of 500 calories per day can result in 1 pound of fat loss per week. A more aggressive deficit of 1000 calories daily equates to 2 pounds lost weekly. However, men should not eat below 1500 calories daily and women no lower than 1200 calories while cutting.

### Guideline For Calorie Cutting

Here is a general guideline for determining your calorie deficit:

Goal Deficit Per Day
Mild Fat Loss 250-500 calories
Moderate Fat Loss 500-1000 calories
Aggressive Fat Loss 1000+ calories

Using a mild 250-500 calorie daily deficit, you can expect to lose about 0.5-1 pound per week. With a more aggressive 1000+ calorie deficit, some people can lose up to 2-3 pounds per week.

Determining your individual calorie needs is crucial for planning an effective cutting diet. Here are the steps to calculate your calorie intake for cutting:

### 1. Calculate Your Maintenance Calories

Your maintenance calories is the amount you need to eat to maintain your current weight. Use this simple formula:

Body weight (lbs) x 15 calories = Maintenance Calories

For example, if you weigh 180 lbs:

180 x 15 = 2700 maintenance calories

### 2. Factor In Activity Level

Activity Level Multiplier
Sedentary x 1.2
Light Activity x 1.375
Moderate Activity x 1.55
Heavy Activity x 1.725

Using the example above with a maintenance calorie need of 2700 calories:

2700 x 1.55 (moderate activity) = 4185 calories per day

### 3. Create A Calorie Deficit

To lose weight, you need to eat below your maintenance calories. A 500 calorie daily deficit equates to about 1 pound lost per week. Here is how to calculate your cutting calories:

Maintenance Calories – 500 calories = Cutting calories

Continuing the example above, your cutting calories would be:

4185 – 500 = 3685 calories

Eating approximately 3685 calories daily would result in a 500 calorie deficit for weight loss.

## Important Considerations For Calorie Cutting

When reducing calories for fat loss, there are some important factors to consider:

### Minimum Calorie Intake

It is not recommended for men to eat below 1500 calories daily or women below 1200 calories. Consuming too few calories can cause muscle loss, fatigue, nutritional deficiencies and possibly metabolic damage.

### Macronutrient Intake

When cutting, aim for:

• Protein intake: 0.8 to 1 gram per pound of bodyweight daily
• Fat intake: 25-30% of total calories
• Carb intake: Remainder of calories

Adequate protein prevents muscle loss. Dietary fat supports hormones and absorption of vitamins. Carbs provide energy for workouts.

### Nutrient Dense Foods

Focus on getting sufficient micronutrients from whole food sources like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and high-fiber carbs. Taking a multivitamin can help cover any potential gaps.

### Strength Training

Continue lifting weights and performing resistance training at least 2-3 times per week while cutting calories. This will help retain muscle mass.

## Setting Up Your Cutting Diet

1. Calculate your calorie and macro needs as shown above
3. Focus on nutrient dense whole foods at each meal
4. Include a source of protein with most meals and snacks
5. Fill the remainder of calories from fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc.
6. Stay hydrated by drinking water, unsweetened beverages
7. Limit liquid calories like juices, soda and alcohol
8. Consider intermittent fasting to extend time in calorie deficit

## Sample Cutting Diet

Here is a sample 1800 calorie cutting diet based on the nutritional guidelines above:

### Meal 1

• 3 egg omelet with vegetables
• Oatmeal with berries

### Meal 2

• Chicken breast
• Brown rice
• Broccoli

• Salmon
• Quinoa
• Asparagus

• Greek yogurt
• Mixed nuts
• Apple

### Meal 5

• Turkey burger
• Sweet potato fries