How Many Calories Should I Eat

How Many Calories Should I Eat

Therefore, it is essential to maintain a balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, which feeds the system with kilocalories. Let’s take a closer look at how many calories you need to consume per day. To keep yourself in shape and subsequently not gain excess weight. This article will give you a complete guide about how many calories should I eat to losing weight?

Energy balance – what is it, and why is it so crucial for the body?

The energy balance is based on two components. The first includes a person’s physical activity; the second is represented by internal processes such as the expenditure of kilocalories for digesting food, warming the body, and other latent nature actions.

If the body gets exactly as much as it can use up, it loses the ability to convert excess energy into fat.

To find out how many calories you need to consume per day, it is essential to objectively look at a particular person’s energy costs. This rate increases several times for an active person and can be at least 2,500 kcal per day.

How Many Calories Should I Eat In Everyday

At the same time, it is essential to observe the general balance of calories and the optimal combination of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates (for each of them, there is its proportion, which will be discussed below). A prerequisite is the enrichment of the body with vitamins and minerals.

The quality of health directly depends on the latter components since a deficiency (and an excess) can provoke the development of hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and other unpleasant consequences. On the contrary, maintaining balance will make you feel comfortable eating right:

  • do not suffer from hunger, do not feel weak and sluggish;
  • provide a sufficient amount of nutrients for the full functioning of all body systems;
  • successfully lose weight and steadily maintain the achieved indicators, without resorting to rigid diets;
  • choose a nutritional plan to develop muscle mass (drying the body) without harm to the body.

Before moving on to practice – calculating how many calories I should eat, let’s turn to theory and briefly look at the critical methods for measuring energy expenditure.

calorie food – how much you need to eat to lose weight

Complex and easy ways to calculate the energy consumption

Let’s start with a laborious option that can only be done in a laboratory setting. The essence of the technique, called direct calorimetry, is to measure the heat that the human body produces and gives off. The person is placed in a specially sealed compartment equipped with pipes filled with water.

The liquid’s temperature is fixed at the inlet and outlet of the chamber, due to which the amount of heat given off by the body is determined. With minimal error, this technique determines how many calories a person needs per day to maintain energy balance.

However, the method has two drawbacks: it is used only for a limited number of activities, and it takes more than one hour to calculate the indicators.

The method is based on the study of gas exchange within a person. The fact is that the energy source for the body is the oxidative process when oxygen is continuously inhaled and carbon dioxide is exhaled. It is scientifically established that for 1 liter of consumed oxygen, there is an equivalent amount of released energy.

The classic version with the “Douglas Bag” (for collecting exhaled air) is used only in research tasks, while in modern therapy and dietetics, electronic devices are used with a similar principle. They do not require lengthy preparation for the procedure and determine the energy metabolism in the body with high precision.

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How Many Calories Should I Eat: Let’s see what it depends on 

At the very beginning, we already mentioned. The first includes processes that occur at the cellular level. It is these costs that make up the most massive energy consumption. So, the average exchange rate for an adult is 1 kcal per 1 kg of body weight hourly.

At the same time, energy metabolism depends not only on the size of the body but also on the age of the person. For example, children take a leading place in this process since their body spends more energy during the period of growth and development than at an older age.

It is essential to take into account the gender of a person since, in men, energy metabolism is, on average, 10% higher than that of women. Therefore, when calculating the calorie rate, this is a mandatory item (the final results can be very different, even if two persons of different sexes have the same height and weight).

How to calculate how many calories you need per day depending on the physical indicators of a particular person using the Mifflin-San Geor formula:

  • For men – (9.99 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) – (4.92 x current age in years) + 5 = daily calorie intake;
  • For women – (9.99 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) – (4.92 x current age in years) – 161 = daily calories.

The above formula is one of the most common options for calculating the daily calorie intake since it was created in modern realities and takes into account the subtle nuances of a person’s nutrition, the level of his activity, and other factors. As in other methods of this kind, the formula contains an error and is of a recommendation nature.

Let’s calculate the exchange using the example of a 34-year-old woman weighing 76 kg and 172 cm tall:

  • (9.99 x 76) + (6.25 x 172) – (4.92 x 34) – 161 = 1 506 kcal / day.

We received the total amount of energy that is needed to maintain the body’s vital functions daily. Do not forget that the concept of the main volume includes only the basic needs at the cellular level – the tasks of providing the body with oxygen and the work of internal systems.

Therefore, it is necessary to add an activity index to the basal metabolic rate, which is essential to give an objective assessment without artificially overestimating the indicators. For example, if your job involves 80% sitting in the office, you do not exercise but jog in the park once a month, the activity indicator will remain minimal.

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How Many Calories Should I Eat: determine the coefficient:

  • 1-1.2 – physical activity is absent or expressed minimally;
  • 3-1.4 – there is a light load in the form of exercise, walking, or fitness at least 3 times a week;
  • 5-1.6 – medium bag (for example, 4 times a week intensive training);
  • 7-1.8 – high load (implies an active life in combination with intense sports);
  • 9-2 – very high load (hard physical labor and/or every day exhausting sports).

Having determined our own load, we proceed to the calculation (the daily calorie intake is multiplied by a suitable coefficient): 1,506 kcal x 1.2 = 1,800 kcal/day. This will keep the body healthy and beautiful – it merely will not have the opportunity to process excess energy into fat.

The optimal number of calories per day with a low-calorie diet

The correct approach to nutrition largely determines the process of losing weight and maintaining weight in the future. For example, during fasting, when the body receives no more than 200 kcal per day, weight loss can be accompanied by the development of complications. To work correctly, he must receive about 1,000 kcal every day to provide the cells with nutrients.

If this does not happen, the system begins to experience an acute deficit in calories, which is potentially dangerous for the body. During the fasting period, mental activity suffers first, since glucose. Which is necessary for the nutrition of the brain, does not enter the blood. To avoid harm from low-calorie diets, the daily allowance should be at least 800 kcal.

How Many Calories Should I Eat expert suggest

Only in this case, weight loss can become not only practical but also safe. Eating a minimal amount of calories can lead to a sharp weight loss in a short time (within 2-3 months). But fasting does not entirely solve the problem of excess fat. The reason is simple – refusal to eat does not form the foundations of proper nutrition in a person. Does do not consolidate the habit of correct eating behavior.

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Therefore, in modern dietetics, balanced diets or those that combine a sufficient amount of fats/carbohydrates and proteins come first. Weight goes away much more slowly than during fasting. However, in the process, a person manages to form healthy eating habits. In turn, this gives a good prognosis for the long term: having lost weight. A person will be able to maintain weight within the desired range, adjusting his diet.

As a daily norm, they stop at indicators in the range of 1,000-1,200 kcal per day for women, and 1,200-1,500 kcal for men.

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The number of calories for intensive weight loss on protein nutrition

Scientists have confirmed in practice the information that an increase in protein can not only cure but also prevent the development of obesity, diabetes (type 2), and several other diseases caused by nutritional problems.

How do you know how many calories you need per day while increasing the proportion of protein? In the total number of calories, nothing changes – you need to adhere to a daily amount of 800 to 1,500 kcal (depending on the diet), but slightly reduce the proportion of fats and carbohydrates in favor of protein.

The proportions look like this:

  • Protein – 30%;
  • Fat – 25%;
  • Carbohydrates – 35%

It is important to include in the diet:

  • Fiber – 30 g / day;
  • Calcium – 1,000 mg / day

Also Read: How to lose weight quickly.

A complex of vitamins and minerals

As a result of a diet with high protein content, a person gains weight on average 2 kg less. Which ultimately leads to an additional 5% weight loss. While adhering to any diet, do not forget about how many calories. A person needs to consume per day: at least 1,000. Less than 800 kcal per day is practiced under the supervision of doctors.

By the way, during the experiment with a group of subjects (a project of the Diogenes Project team). We managed to find another confirmation of successful weight loss due to protein. So, in adolescents and young people under 18 years of age, a high-protein diet provoked spontaneous weight loss by 14%. In contrast, the low-protein diet trial did not.

 While these organics are notorious for promoting weight gain, it’s essential to keep your body’s needs in mind. Carbohydrates can only harm in excess. While in an optimal ratio they act as a balanced part of nutritional resources for cells and organs. The popularity of low-carb diets has led to a lot of research into their actual benefits. It turned out that a low proportion of carbohydrates (no more than 50 g / day). In addition to being useful in weight loss, reduces the risk of developing heart and vascular diseases.

However, there is a negative side as well. The fact is that the human body is not able to stay for a long time. Without sugary and starchy carbohydrates. Of its central energy reserve and, as a result, we get “starvation anorexia”.

Which is accompanied by a spontaneous decrease in energy consumption. Meanwhile, the results speak for themselves: after 6 months of the low-carb diet. Participants lost just 1.4 kg more weight than participants in the low-fat diet.


How many calories should I eat? To lose weight, it is essential to avoid extremes. If you keep your calorie intake to a minimum. You can lose weight several times faster, but the outlook will be short-term. Since the main thing about losing weight is to fix the value correctly. At this final stage, most people who have lost weight. Begin to return extra pounds with new and very rapid strength.

To prevent this from happening, the body must continuously maintain energy metabolism. Do not forget that a significant part of the energy is spent on maintaining. The vital functions of the system itself and only excess calories lead to unwanted weight gain. The body needs all the constituents – proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. This is the basis of his nutritional base. Thanks to which he will not be stressed during the period of losing weight.

If during breakfast you did not receive the necessary how many calories should I eat? The body will begin to “pull” the lack of energy primarily from the muscle tissue. The lack of fats and carbohydrates will slow down metabolic processes. Therefore, try to maintain a balance. This is precisely the tool that will help you effectively lose weight and securely fast weight in the future. It works simply:

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