The question of how many calories you should be consuming depends on what your weight goals are. Of course someone trying to gain weight will need to consume more calories than an individual trying to lose or maintain their body weight. But what is that number? There is no standard answer to this question because everyone is different and a numerous factors must be taken into account to properly address it.
In this post, we will discuss how to calculate how many calories your body is burning daily to perform basic functions(breathing, circulation, and cell production). Using this number we will then be able to calculate how many calories you will need to consume in order to lose, gain, or maintain body weight. Let's get started!
First, we need to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate(BMR). This number reflects the calories your body burns daily to perform the most basic functions of the human body. There are several methods for finding your BMR, lab testing, scientific formulas, as well as online calculators. None of them are 100% accurate but getting a lab test will get you as close to exact as possible(however, they are pricey). For the purposes of this article, we will use the Mifflin St Jeor method.
The formula looks like this:
Men: BMR=10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) + 5
Women: BMR=10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) – 161
*To convert Lb to Kg divide Lbs by 2.2, to convert inches to cm, multiply In by 2.54
Using the formula above, let's do an example.
Let's say a 30 year old male, 5'10", weighing 205lbs wants to lose weight.
(10 x 93.18)+(6.25 x 177.8)-(5 x 30)+5
BMR = 1898 Calories per day
Now, take that number and multiply it by how active you are based on the scale below.
BMR x 1.2-Sedentary lifestyle(no exercise)
BMR x 1.4-Workout 1-2 times weekly
BMR x 1.5-Workout 2-3 times weekly
BMR x 1.6-Workout 4-5 times weekly
BMR x 1.7-Workout 6-7 times weekly
BMR x 1.8-Workout 2x daily
For the purposes of this article, let's say he works out 4 times weekly.
1898 x 1.6 = 3036 Calories per day to maintain current weight.
Once you establish this figure, you are ready to figure out how many calories you need to lose, gain, or maintain weight.
To lose weight, take that figure and subtract 20% in order to lose between 1-2 lbs per week.
3036-(3036x.20) = 2429 to lose 1-2 lbs per week
Tip: An easy way to keep track and regulate caloric intake is to use meal replacement drinks. These drinks are simple to make and offer the ability reduce calorie count in a convenient and tasty way.
Meal Replacement recipe example:
1 serving 5Pro Nutrition Natural Whey Protein
1 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp coconut oil
Put all ingredients into a 26oz Ice Shaker bottle. Shake it up and enjoy a healthy, low calorie, on-the-go meal!
To gain weight, increase caloric intake by 20% daily
3036+(3036x.20) = 3643 Calories per day to gain 1-2 lbs per week
To maintain weight, don't do a thing in terms of caloric intake!