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Why 1500 calories?
Everyone is different due to height, weight, etc etc but generally 1500 calories is considered a safe minimum for most males in regards to calorie intake. People also trying to work out may find it more obtainiable than 1200 calorie days as well.
Unless you get the okay from a doctor, it is not recommended to have a calorie deficit larger than 1000 less than your TDEE.
In general, males are recommended to eat no less than 1500 a day, and females 1200.
Read this post for what can happen if you try to lose weight too aggressively - https://www.reddit.com/r/loseit/comments/5t18wi/a_word_of_warning/
Download myfitnesspal, enter your stats and choose not very active (Even if you are, exercise calories are often overestimated). It will give you a calorie number. Get a kitchen scale (cheap and easy to use) Weight and accurately track what you eat, stay under your calorie goal and you lose weight.
When you first start, you'll lose quite a bit due to water weight, but around 2lbs a week is what is considered the most healthy weight to lose in a week.
CICO or counting calories
This is how CICO (caloreis in, calories out) works:
We need a certain amount of energy to function. The amount of energy you need to function, at rest, is called your BMR. Seeing as you're walking and talking and picking your nose most of the time, rather than resting, your even your sedentary Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE - how many calories you burn in the average day) is usually a bit higher than your BMR.
Energy is measured in calories. By doing some math with your height, weight, age and sex, you can figure out what your BMR, and your Total Daily Energy Expenditure are - this may vary, depending on your stats.
When you eat MORE calories than your daily expenditure, you store the extra energy as fat. When you eat LESS calories than your daily expenditure, you use the fat you've stored for that extra energy. That's what people refer to as burning calories.
During weight loss, most people aim to eat 500-1000 calories less than their TDEE. Just under 1lb/0.5kg of body fat contains 3500 calories your body can use. So every time you eat 3500 less calories than you need, you lose about 1lb/0.5kg of body fat. That 3500 calories is usually spread over the course of a week - because 500x7=3500.
That means that most people, who are eating between 500-1000 calories less than their TDEE every day, lose about 1lb/0.5-2lb/1kg of body fat per week - though that can go up and down, because our bodies are full of water, which weighs a lot, and comes and goes as we eat, drink, excrete and eliminate.
I binged and ate over 1500 calories today =(
It's one day, or one weekend, or even a week, it happens. Track it and move on! If you forget to brush your teeth one night, do you just stop brushing or do you pick the brush up the next day like it never happened? Remember , your making lifestyle changes not dieting! Your daily habits will far outweigh those days where you eat all the things.
You got this :)
I'm on vacation or I eat out a lot. How do I stick to 1500 calories?
Let me introduce you to one of my favorite people I've encountered on this sub and my weightloss journey, /u/maester_ia aka Frank Beard.
This guy did an awesome challenge he posted here where he ate nothing but gas station food for 30 days and lost weight!
It really drove home the point to if your tracking what you intake and use the tools available, you can lose weight no matter what the circumstances are. THere are healthy choices wherever you go. I highly recommend downloading myfitnesspal and track what you'll be having. They have huge resturant database!
Ways to save at local resturants that might not have info?
Skip the vehicle carbs, stuff that's sole purporse is to drive other food in your mouth. Stuff like burger buns, tortillas etc.
Order salads with dressing on the side.
Get an entree and a to go box right away, box up half of it for later!
Meal prepping can help you have meals ready to go and keep you on track for your calorie goals. I did a write up here - https://www.reddit.com/r/hxcjosh23mealprep/comments/6b8zhj/meal_prep_101_your_complete_guide_to_meal_prepping/
Special mention to /u/hxcjosh23 for putting sidebar together.