Dr. Rachel: How many calories do I need to lose weight?

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Dr. Rachel is reaching into her mailbag to answer one question that seems to be on a lot of people's minds.

The email was as follows:
"Dr. Rachel,
I am overweight and I have decided to lose weight. I am having a hard time finding out how many calories I need to eat in a day in order to lose the weight.
Can you help?"

Dr. Rachel says that she stresses no dieting, but instead  trying to "change the relationship you have with food and your lifestyle so this becomes your new normal way of eating."

She gives us a rough guide for how many calories are needed in a day to lose weight:
Multiply your ideal body weight by 10. If you are not an active person, add 300 calories a day. If you are active, add 600 calories and a few hundred more calories if you are very active. Divide those calories out over the course of the day.

For example, if you want to weigh 150 pounds, multiply 150 by 10, which is 1500 calories. If you are not an active person, add 300 calories. That makes 1800 calories to be divided up over the course of your day.

If you eat three meals a day then that would be about 600 calories a meal in order to get to your desired weight. Once you have reached your weight goal, you will need to increase how many calories you eat each day to maintain your new weight.

The number of calories you need will also depend on several factors such as your age, sex, height, lifestyle, and general health.

If you have any medical questions, ask me on my Facebook page, Dr. Rachel: The Teaching Doctor, or send me a tweet @DrRachelTwist.