There is no such thing as a calorie day; burning calories is a continuous cycle.
Calories don’t reset at midnight or anything like that; you continuously burn calories day and night.
Your metabolism does its work no matter the time of day. Your body keeps you alive by burning calories; it’s not striving to lose weight on it’s own. It just wants to keep you alive.
For calorie counting, you need to calculate your own time of day to consume your calories. This will be based on your schedule and what you feel comfortable with.
It is clear that the body does not use 24 hours time to reset calories, your body does not function like a clock does in this way. Choose the time you are comfortable with to eat.
Let’s explore this a little bit more in depth.
How Many Calories do you Start the Day With?
The intake of calories differs from person to person; it relies on your daily need for calories.
You can choose to start the day with how many calories you would like, as long as you maintain a healthy calorie deficit over the course of the day, which will lead to long term success over time.
You must always keep a check on calorie intake if you want to lose weight.
There are a variety of ways to do this, but first, let’s start with the basics first.
What are Calories?
A calorie is a unit of measurement that represents the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius.
In other words, it takes one calorie to heat up one g of water by 1°C.
The term “calorie” is typically used in the context of food, and it refers to the amount of energy that a particular food contains.
For instance, a slice of bread typically contains around 100 calories, while a candy bar might contain 200 calories.
When we eat food, our bodies convert the calories into energy that can be used for various bodily functions.
Consuming too many calories will lead to weight gain, while consuming less than our body needs will lead to weight loss.
Therefore, it’s important to be aware of the calorie content of the foods we eat in order to maintain a healthy weight.
When you eat more calories than your body’s requirements, your body will start storing them in the form of fat, and when you keep eating more calories continuously, it will be the sole reason for weight gain over a period of time.
How Many Calories Should you Eat?
This relies on body weight, activity level, gender, and age. For example, a 23 year old athlete will need more calories than an middle age woman.
You need to burn calories more than you eat (consume) if you want to lose weight.
Researchers have proven from time to time that if you are attempting to lose weight, calorie counting is essential. It is what needs to be the focus.
To keep yourself on pace to losing weight, burn more calories than you are eating. There is no alternative.
But, if you’re taking in very few calories compared to your needs, you will most likely be underweight. This is NOT a good thing.
Calorie consumption can also be determined by the type and amount of food we eat. If you want to lose weight, you need to be careful about the food you choose.
Some foods are more calorie dense than others. For example, a tablespoon of olive oil has 120 calories, while a tablespoon of peanut butter has 94 calories.
But because olive oil is liquid, it’s easy to pour out too much without realizing it.
Peanut butter, on the other hand, is solid, so it’s easier to control how much we’re eating.
This doesn’t mean that we should avoid all calorie-dense foods. After all, many of them are nutritious and can help us feel satisfied after eating.
It is important to be aware of how calorie dense a food is before we start eating, so that we can make sure we’re not racking up calories quickly.
How we eat or at which time we eat are not determining factors for weight gain. This used to be a huge issue for many and they would actually starve themselves when they would be hungry at night, but you do not need to do this. Eat when you want to eat.
Calories burned also depend on the type of activity you are doing. If you’re exercising daily, you are burning MORE calories.
The dietary guideline reveals that women need 1600- 2400 calories daily while men need 2000-3000. It also relies on their height, size, weight, overall health, age, activity level, and lifestyle.
How to Count Calories?
You can use any fitness tracker app or band to count calories. You need to put basic information on those trackers for them to count your calories.
Apps and bands to consider for calorie tracking include:
- MyFitnessPal app
- Lose it
- Apple Watch
Should I Consume More of my Calories at the Beginning of the Day?
You don’t have to, but it may have some benefits.
Some argue breakfast is the most significant feast of the day. A healthy breakfast can keep you full and satisfied for longer and help you not munch on snacks until lunch, but this does not mean you MUST eat breakfast. I don’t!
Even though the metabolism rate is not at it’s peak in the morning, a good breakfast can provide fuel for your whole day’s tasks, and the calories you get from breakfast get burned while you’re doing everyday tasks and workouts.
But many who partake in intermittent fasting, for example, do not ever eat breakfast usually. They do this to benefit from different patterns of eating.
The time of the day you eat simply does not matter. Your calories in vs. calories out is what matters.
If you eat more at night, your body will NOT store the calories in a way which cause you to gain weight. This is false nonsense.
So, if you want to enjoy a late night snack, go ahead and enjoy it.
Many people choose to eat less throughout the day, which leads them to eat a big portion of their calorie allotment at night; I am one of those people. I like to enjoy my calories later in the day rather than early in the day.
Eat whatever time you choose, just make sure you’re in the calorie range you set for yourself.
How Many Calories Do I Burn a Day Doing Nothing?
The calories burned per day for an average person doing simply nothing at all is over 1800.
Some factors can affect this estimation, like gender and age.
According to research, 75 calories per hour get burned while just sitting. For example, a woman from 18 to 30 years of age burns 1800 to 2000 calories, and a woman from 31 to 51 burns 1800 calories just sitting around. This is known as the basal metabolic rate or BMR.
We burn calories when we are not doing anything because our body needs energy for many functions happening within the body, like breathing and pumping blood into the circulation. All of the time, your brain is functioning and needs calories.
This amount of calories required varies by the day. This is never going to be a set number, which is why the number of calories calculated for your BMR should be used as an estimation only. Use it as a guide.
Your body configuration matters as well to determine the number of calories you burn daily.
This means if you have more muscle mass than fat in your body, you will most likely burn more calories because muscle tissue is more active than fat tissue and requires more energy.
When do your Calories for the Day Reset?
Your calories never reset on their own as your body doesn’t function in this way.
So you have to establish a schedule for yourself. You can pick any time to start counting the calories and any time to end the 24 hours cycle for counting calories.
For example, you can start your calorie counting in the morning or the evening. But if you eat more in the evening and your daily calories increase from the limit you set for yourself, it’s fine. You can count these calories for the next day.
You want to start thinking of your schedule as how many calories are burned in a week, rather than a day. This will make this simple for you and make more sense.
Everyone experiences eating less one day and eating more another day. Some people actually do this on purpose; a process known as calorie cycling.
Does it Matter What Time of Day you Consume Calories?
No, it does not matter what time of the day you consume calories. The best time to consume calories differs from individual to individual.
Here are some common recommendations for you:
Eat timely if you Want More Energy
There are benefits of early eating. You might have more energy to complete tasks if you choose to eat breakfast. Having a healthy breakfast will also help keep you full until lunch.
If you choose to skip breakfast, this is okay too, you will not destroy your weight loss goals.
Calorie Limitations for Daily Eating
For weight loss, no matter what time you eat, it is essential you also keep a check on calorie limits.
Losing weight all comes down to remaining in a calorie deficit, not the time you consume calories.
Do whatever is best for you to track calorie intake. If you choose to count calories, using a calorie tracking app such as MyFitnessPal will help you substantially.
Have you considered starting a food journal? You might find it is easier to track calories in vs. calories out when you write everything down.
Some people also rely solely on hunger cues, and only eat when they are hungry, but this can get hairy. You have to make sure that you are watching your portion sizing when you do this.
If you are unsure about how many calories you are consuming when relying solely on portion sizing and hunger cues, just manually track your calories in.
It is far more accurate this way, and if you are new to calorie tracking, I recommend tracking everything at first to make sure you are actually in a calorie deficit.
It is easy to go over your limits and not realize it.
There is no specific time that a new calorie day restarts.
You can start your calorie tracking cycle in the morning or at night, it simply does not matter.
It will be most helpful to you to start your own individualized plan of tracking your calorie intake, whether this be using an app (which I recommend) or starting a food diary or journal.
If you want to keep track of your calories, you can use calorie-tracking in Apple watch as well. To lose or gain weight, you must make a calorie deficit plan and stick to it.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does eating at midnight count as the next day?
It depends on your calorie cycle and how you set it. If your calorie cycle ends before midnight, eating at midnight will count as the next day; if it’s not, it will count as the previous day’s calories.
Calories do not reset at midnight. It all depends on your plan for your calorie goal and whether you met your goal over a longer period, such as a week.
2. When does Whoop reset calories?
Yes, whoop does reset calories. Whoop calculates heart rate and resting heart rate to determine the calories burned. You have to put all the information asked in the device to get the total calories burned.
Whoop resets calories at nighttime. When you sleep, your Whoop cycles begin, and they reset again when you sleep the next time, while some Whoop devices work with a 24 hours cycle.
3. When do calories turn into fat?
When you consume more calories than the calories your body requires, these calories start being stored in the form of fat, which leads to weight gain.
The energy the body needs to function that are acquired through food are called calories. The body gets calories from daily meals.
Your body requires a specific amount of calories to function. If you consume more than your requirements, you will increase weight or body fat; if you consume than your requirements, you will eventually burn body fat and lose weight.
4. When counting calories, where do you start?
If you are confused about how and where to start tracking your calories, here are some suggestions.
- You can begin with the calories your body requires for an entire day (BMR). This is the amount of calories your body burns just existing and doing nothing. Just use a BMR calculator you can easily find online.
- After knowing how many calories are needed for BMR, you can start tracking your daily calorie intake using a fitness band or app, such as MyFitnessPal. Make sure you are simply eating less than your BMR amount.
- When you eat less than your BMR calorie amount, this is known as a caloric deficit. You must be in a caloric deficit to lose body fat.
- You can make a calorie deficit plan according to your preferences if you want to lose weight, and track this over time.
- Keep track of everything you consume daily and track calories in vs. calories out. Overtime, if you are in a true calorie deficit, you will lose body fat.
5. How many calories should I consume daily to lose weight?
The calories you need to lose weight are approximately 1500 to 2000 daily, depending on your own individual needs.
If you want to lose 1 pound per week, you must cut out about 500 calories from your everyday meal. This is because there are about 3500 calories in one pound of fat.
The calories you need to consume to lose weight depend on lifestyle, activity level, gender, and age. You must calculate your basal metabolic rate to know how to eat below it’s range.
For example, if a woman burns 2400 calories daily, she needs to consume 1400 to 1900 calories to lose weight.
However, if a woman is more active and burning more calories every day, she can eat more calories and lose weight. You must troubleshoot over time to find what works best for you.