How many Daily Calories should I Eat?
You can estimate your daily calorie needs by working out your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and multiplying it by your physical activity level. Your BMR is the number of calories you burn at rest over 24 hours maintaining essential functions such as respiration, digestion and brain function. BMR accounts for 60–75 per cent of the calories you burn daily.
Step 1: Estimate your basal metabolic rate (BMR):
Method 1: Quick
As a rule of thumb, BMR uses 11 calories for every 0.5 kg of a woman’s body weight and 12 calories per 0.5 kg of a man’s body weight.
Women: BMR = weight in kilos x 2 x 11 (alternatively weight in pounds x 11)
Men: BMR = weight in kilos x 2 x 12 (alternatively weight in pounds x 12)
Example: BMR for a 60 kg woman = 60 x 2 x 11 = 1,320 kcal.
Method 2: Advanced
For a more accurate estimation of your BMR, use the following equations:
Example: BMR for a 60 kg woman aged 31–60 years = (60 x 8.7) + 829 = 1,351 kcal.
Step 2: Estimate your physical activity level (PAL):
Your physical activity level (PAL) is the ratio of your overall daily energy expenditure to your BMR. It’s a rough measure of your lifestyle activity.
- Mostly inactive or sedentary (mainly sitting): 1.2
- Fairly active (include walking and exercise 1–2 x week): 1.3
- Moderately active (exercise 2–3 x week): 1.4
- Active (exercise hard more than 3 x week): 1.5
- Very active (exercise hard daily): 1.7
Step 3: Multiply your BMR by your PAL:
BMR x PAL
Example: daily energy needs for an active 60 kg woman = 1,351 x 1.5 = 2,027 kcal. That’s how many calories you burn a day to maintain your weight, assuming you have an ‘average’ body composition. If you have higher than average muscle mass add 150 calories.
To Lose Weight
Reduce your daily calorie intake by 15 per cent or multiply the figure above (maintenance calorie needs) by 0.85. This will produce a fat loss of about 0.5 kg per week. Example: Daily energy needs for an active 60 kg woman to lose weight = 2,027 x 0.85 = 1,723 kcal.
To Gain Weight
Increase your daily calorie intake by 20 per cent or multiply the figure above (maintenance calorie needs) by 1.2. In conjunction with a resistance training program, expect a weight gain of 0.25–0.5 kg per month. Example: Daily energy needs for an active 60 kg woman to gain weight = 2,027 x 1.2 = 2,432 kcal.
(ref: Food for Fitness)
If you like this article, PLEASE share it with your friends by clicking one of the icons below: