How Many Calories Should I Consume??

BMR aka Basal Metabolic Rate… it’s not often you hear about your BMR or have a desire to understand it.  You see BMI more often because it’s used as an indication of your body fat to lean mass ratio and where you are categorized on a health scale.  Most often people ask, “How many calories should I consume in a day?” or “How much protein, carbs, and fat should I eat?”
———> bring up Google, enter in search box
Oh enter information (beep beep boop) — POOF:  ANSWER!

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Nowadays it is way too easy to find a convenient calculator, enter in your information and have an answer.  But what if that answer is off by a few hundred calories… why are you even entering in that information?

Just like in any sport you play, learning the fundamentals is key.  So why should understanding your own caloric needs be any different?

I sought out to calculate my BMR through one source and wondered if it matched with the formula I learned in college.  I wanted to know how many calories it was off by, so then I found multiple calculators to see which ones came close.  Here’s what I discovered…

Under the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) Guidelines.

Basics.  Your BMR is the energy required each day to go through daily functions such as breathing, eating, and even sitting.  For example, when you chew your food, your digestive system is working to grind down the food to move through your intestines.  That work requires expending energy (calories).  The following formula is given to determine your BMR:
Women:  BRM = 655+ (4.35 x wt in lbs) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
Men:  BMR = 66 + (6.23 x wt in lbs) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)

Example using myself:  BMR = 655+630.75+282-145.7; BMR = 1422 calories.
My body expends 1422 calories each day just to function.

macronutrients-carbs-protein-fat
Now in order to determine my daily caloric intake, I have to consider my activity level each day.  Obviously we don’t sit around every day so we will need more than our BMR in order to properly live each day.  Using the Harris Benedict Formula will allow us to determine our daily caloric intake.  To determine that, you multiply your BMR with the appropriate number given for your activity level.

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

This is where you have to be honest with yourself to get the correct number.  Most of us like to think that we exercise more than we actually do.  Once you determine this number you can then figure out how many calories you need if you want to gain or lose each week.

Example using myself:  1422 calories x 1.55 (moderately active) = 2,204
I need to consume 2,204 calories each day to maintain weight.

Okay so going back up to determine my BMR, I calculated 1422 calories.  Using that as a baseline, here are the numbers using online calculators:
MyFitnessPal:  1294
IIFYM.com (if it fits your macros):  1296
Bodybuilding.com:  1421
bmi-calculator.net:  1422.05
Active.com:  1423
healthstatus.com:  1704.2

As you can see, the BMI-CALCULATOR.NET was on point, Bodybuilding and Active were close, and the others were off by at least a hundred calories.  It’s interesting to see such a wide range in calories your body is supposed to burn each day.  WHY IS ANY OF THIS RELEVANT??!
If you have weight loss goals or weight gain goals, it’s imperative to understand what your body requirements are in order to best determine how many carbs, fats, and proteins you need each meal to reach those goals.

So next time you want to know how many calories you should consume and precisely the appropriate macros you need for each meal, consider your source to find that information.

Comment or contact me if you are interested in learning how many calories you need to lose or gain weight!

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