An article in the Chicago Sun-Times reports ┬áthat 80 percent of people cannot accurately estimate the number of calories required to maintain current weight, 25 percent don’t try and only 12 percent estimate correctly.

Estimating calories can be a difficult task to undertake. Daily calorie recommendations can range from 1200 to more than 4,000, depending on daily activity levels.

So what’s the best advice in estimating you daily caloric needs?

1. Use an online BMR calculator. It may not be perfect, but can give you a ballpark figure.

2. If you don’t have access to a BMR calculator start with the recommended daily caloric intake, which is about 2500. If you are gaining weight eating 2500 calories, then reduce your caloric intake by 250-500 calories. For example, try consuming only 2000 calories for a week and monitor your weight. If you are not fatigued and feel that you can reduce your caloric intake further, then try 1750.

If you are eating 2500 calories and you are an active person that is constantly fatigued, then you may need to increase your caloric intake. Try 2750 and see how you feel during your activity. Continue titrating calories until you find the caloric range that is appropriate for your weight management plans and activity lifestyle.

An even better means is to simply adjust your overall diet choices and not worry so much about what you are eating. In fact, if you are eating a balanced diet with many foods originating from the Mediterranean Diet you can’t really go wrong. The only other problem that you may have may be with portion control. To tackle this, just make sure that you don’t ever force yourself to continue eating food off of your plate even if you are full. It’s okay to save or throw away food, contrary to popular culture.

Follow a few simple rules, keep calories in mind, but stay focused on your overall dietary habits and you will lose weight.