Gather a sheet of paper, a pencil and a calculator. Today we are going to solve the equation of how many calories we should eat for a healthy life.
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When the objective is lose weightone of the concerns is to control the calories ingested. And one of the most common habits inherent in counting calories is looking at food labels.
But the question arises: should the amount of calories to be ingested be the same for everyone?
In general, there is the common idea that women should consume approximately 2000 calories per day. However, and if the goal is to lose weight, so the reference number drops to 1500. As for men, they should consume 2500 calories. But, if the goal is to lose weight, then they should only consume 2000 calories.
Even so, this theory should not be analyzed in isolation and followed in such a linear fashion. It is considered a little reductive, since caloric needs must take into account several factors, namely: gender, height, weight, age and physical activity.
In this sense, and to help us in the task of more efficient accounting, we have to resort to an exact science: mathematics and its equations.
Before moving on to the actual calculations, we have to introduce other elements into the equation, such as the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).
The TMB corresponding to the energy that our organism needs to fulfill the minimum functions. That is, BMR means the consumption of calories equivalent to being at rest for 24 hours.
This is because, even if the body is at rest, it consumes energy. This is the only way to maintain minimal functions such as breathing and pumping blood. Thus, it appears that overweight people tend to have a higher BMR, as they need more energy to support vital organs.
Likewise, people with greater physical activity need a higher BMR, which leads to them having to ingest a greater amount of calories.
Before we start accounting for TBM we have to take into account the differences in metabolism between men and women. For example, men, having more muscle mass than women, consume calories more quickly. As such, the equations will have different assumptions:
- Men: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (i) + 5
- Women: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (i) – 161
However, and for more real values, we must still add the physical activity element to the equation. Only in this way will we be able to have the recommended consumption of calories per day, adapted to your needs:
- TMB x 1.2 for sedentary people;
- BMR x 1.375 for light physical exercise;
- BMR x 1.55 for moderate exercise;
- BMR x 1.725 for active individuals;
- BMR x 1.9 for extremely active individuals.
Once again these values are merely indicative. Although this is considered an ideal formula, it must be taken into account that metabolisms are different and, as such, react differently.
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