How to Determine Your Body’s Daily Calorie Needs

calorie needsYou need calories to sustain your daily activities. Calories provide energy for your body to use throughout the day. Intake of calories play a central role in gaining, losing and maintaining weight. That is why nutrition experts recommended a particular daily calorie intake. The recommended daily intakes, however, varies depending on one’s age, gender, weight, height, activity level and body mass. Knowing how to determine your daily calorie needs will help you design a nutrition and exercise plan to realize your health goals.

Experts recommend that you have a BMI test before calculating the daily caloric needs. This will tell you whether you are overweight, underweight, or just the right weight. Your daily calorie needs will maintain your weight and BMI, and you need to adjust accordingly if you are looking to change the BMI.

You need to start by determining the calories required for your basic energy needs per day. The simplest formula to use is multiplying your weight (in pounds) by 11 if you are a man or 10 if you are a woman. The formula will give you a bit higher calories than you need for your basic energy needs but it is still within range.

activityDetermining your activity factor value is also an important part of establishing your caloric needs. Somebody who works in an office will not need the same calories as a construction worker. Activity levels are divided into five; very light (for example sitting, sleeping or reading), light (Electrical, light exercise, caring children, etc.), moderate (housework, dancing, cycling, etc.), and heavy (construction work, climbing, playing football, etc.). The activity factor for each is 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, and 0.5 respectively.

Proceed to multiply the basic energy needs, also known as BMR, and the activity factor value that you have just determined. If you are a 45-year-old lady weighing 155 pounds with a light activity level, for example, the function will be [(155*10) *0.3]. That will give you the calories you need for your activity level.

Eating food and nutrients absorption also burns calories. You need, therefore, to determine the calories that you need for digesting and absorbing the nutrients. This is usually 10 percent of the daily energy needs. You have to add your BMR and activity calories first and then proceed to multiply the total by 10 percent.

Finally, add all your calorie needs to get the total. Adding the BMR, activity, and digestion/absorption calorie needs will give you the total calorie needs. Note that these are the calories required to maintain your current weight. If you want to add weight, you have to add more calories. Consuming 250-500 extra calories every day will see you gain about a half or one pound every week. Adjust your total caloric intake according to the weight you want.

Being aware of your daily calorie needs will help you maintain a healthy weight and BMI. While you can do it manually, take advantage of the numerous online tools that can help calculate your calorie needs, BMI, and how many calories you burn after an exercise. This will keep you in control of your body and health.