How Many Calories Should I Eat per Day?

Let’s face it, calorie counting sucks.  Keeping track of what you’re eating and how many calories each food item contains can be a hassle, but do you even know HOW MANY your body needs in a day?  Yes, there is an “average amount” that’s been tossed around for the general public or for those who have a metabolism like superman, but for those of you who are curious and want a better understanding of how many calories you need then continue reading!
We have to consider multiple factors that affect our daily caloric intake, such as:  weight, age, height, level of activity, and goal weight.
First, we’ll discuss the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is basically the measurement of energy spent while at rest.  Even while you’re resting, your body is still expending energy because it has to keep your vital organs functioning (ie. breathing, heart pumping).  So in order to determine your BMR, a formula is used to calculate that number:

English BMR Formula
Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in year)

Once your obtain your BMR, you take that number and plug it into the Harris-Benedict Equation.  The Harris-Benedict Equation utilizes each individual’s activity level to determine your recommended daily caloric intake in order to maintain your current body weight.

  • Sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
  • Lightly Active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
  • Moderately Active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
  • Very Active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
  • Extra Active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

So now you have 3 options once you obtain this number.  You can keep it the same if you are happy with your weight, or you can increase your caloric intake if you want to gain weight, and the most common reason we use these formulas is to decrease our caloric intake to lose weight.
Just keep in mind that 1 pound = 3500 calories.  Spread that deficit throughout the week in order to determine how many calories you need each day within that week in order to lose weight.  The safe recommendation is to lose about 1-2 pounds/week.  Well, I hope this helps give you a better understanding of how many calories you should eat per day!


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