Give Me More Calories

by Joe Lawrence | February 24th, 2009 | Cardio, Eating Tips, Family Fitness

appleThe most basic building block of any diet is the calories that you consume.  Our body weight goals can be reached by regulating the calories we consume daily.

Calories obviously are needed to make our bodies function.  Every body type and person vary in the quantity of calories they need to consume daily.  Calorie consumption is imperative when attempting to maintain, gain or lose weight.  In fact, there is not a single one of you that does not fit one of those three categories.

The three ways we ingest calories are from protein, carbohydrates, and fats.  Proteins and carbohydrates each provide 4 calories per gram.  Fats more than double that with 9 calories per gram.  This is very important to know when planning your diet and while monitoring your calorie intake.

Now you need to discover how many calories that you need on a daily basis.  The national average for females is 2000 calories per day. However, each woman has a different need.  To get a more personalized count use the formulas below, but remember this is only a guide:

The first is to determine your Basal Metabolic Rate.  This formula tells you how many calories you need based on your height, weight and age.

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 )

The next formula will help you take it a step further and give an even better estimate based on your activity level.  This requires the use of the Harris Benedict Equation.

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

Knowing what a calorie is and how many you need is only the beginning.  You now need to determine your goals of maintaining, gaining or losing weight.  Working your diet to meet your health and fitness goals will expedite your results.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.