General Practice 2022

How many calories to eat per day (with online calculator)

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How many calories to eat per day (with online calculator)
How many calories to eat per day (with online calculator)
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To know how many calories to consume per day, you must calculate the total daily caloric expenditure, which takes into account the energy that the body spends to maintain basic functions, such as breathing, brain function or heart rate, and the energy that is spent on “extra” activities done throughout the day, such as cooking, working, or exercising.

For those who want to maintain their current weight, it is usually recommended to keep their calorie intake equal to the value of caloric expenditure, while for those who want to lose weight, their intake should be reduced between 250 and 1000 calories daily. If you want to gain weight, you should increase your intake of 500 calories a day in your diet.

A practical and quick way to calculate how many calories you should eat per day, according to your goal, is to put your data in this calculator:

The daily calorie intake recommendation may also vary according to some situations, such as pregnancy or malnutrition, for example, so it is advisable to consult a doctor or nutritionist to indicate a personalized food plan.

What are calories

Calories are the amount of energy that a certain food provides after being consumed, contributing to the essential functions of the organism, such as breathing, hormone production, and brain function.

The main food groups that provide energy for the body are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. When you consume food, it is digested, releasing energy that is used by the body. Learn how to calculate food calories.

It is important to remember that when you consume more calories than you need per day, the body stores this excess in the form of fat, causing weight gain and favoring he alth problems such as diabetes, obesity or cardiovascular disease.

How is your daily caloric intake calculated

The amount of calories that should be ingested per day can be calculated using the formula developed by the World He alth Organization, where the basal energy expenditure is multiplied, which is the amount of energy that the body spends to maintain basic functions, by the activity factor, which considers the energy spent on activities such as cooking, working and exercising.

How basal energy expenditure is calculated

The formula for calculating basal energy expenditure varies according to sex, weight and age:

Age

Woman

Man

0 to 3 years

(58.317 x weight in kg) – 31.1 (59.512 x weight in kg) – 30.4

3 to 10 years

(20.315 x weight in kg) + 485.9 (22.706 x weight in kg) + 504.3

10 to 18 years old

(13.384 x weight in kg) + 692.6 (17.686 x weight in kg) + 658.2

18 to 30 years old

(14.818 x weight in kg) + 486.6 (15.057 x weight in kg) + 692.2

30 to 60 years

(8.126 x weight in kg) + 845.6 (11.472 x weight in kg) + 873.1

≥ 60 years old

(9.082 x weight in kg) + 658.5 (11.711 x weight in kg) + 587.7

How the activity factor is determined

The physical activity factor values ​​consider an average between the time and type of activity performed throughout the day:

  • Light: average factor of 1.55: considers activities such as cooking, taking care of children; work 8 hours sitting and walking up to 1 hour a day;
  • Moderate: average factor of 1.84: includes activities such as getting an hour of exercise a day such as running, cycling, swimming or dancing, working as a construction worker, waiter, door-to-door salesman, postman or courier;
  • Iintense: average factor of 2, 2: considers activities such as swimming, running, cycling or dancing two hours a day; non-mechanized rural workers (who work with hand tools and walk long distances, several hours a day) or deliver heavy objects.

Example of calculating daily caloric intake

To find out how many calories a 30-year-old woman weighing 60 kg who works sitting and does not practice physical activity needs to eat per day, the calculator makes the following calculations:

Basal energy expenditure: (14.818 x Weight) + 486.6=1375.68 calories.

Total caloric expenditure: 1375.68 calories x activity factor (1.55).

The amount of calories this woman needs to eat to maintain her current weight is 2132. 3 calories a day.

How are calories calculated for weight loss

To lose weight, it is usually recommended to reduce between 250 and 1000 calories daily from the diet to the total caloric expenditure. The amount of calories you remove varies according to your current weight, target weight, gender, age, height, diet time and energy spent on activities throughout the day.

Example of calculating caloric intake to lose weight

To find out how many calories a 30-year-old woman, 60 kg, 150 cm tall, who works sitting, who walks 3 hours a week and wants to reach a weight of 50 kg, the calculator does the following calculations:

Basal energy expenditure: (14.818 x Weight) + 486.6=1375.68 calories.

Total calorie expenditure: 1375.68 calories x activity factor (1.55)=2132.3 calories.

2132, 3 calories - 500 calories=1632, 3. Therefore, the amount of calories this woman needs to eat to lose weight is 1632.3 calories a day.

This amount of calories favors weight loss and also ensures the intake of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain he alth and well-being.

Calorie calculation to gain weight

To gain weight, it is usually recommended to increase the intake of 500 calories per day in the diet, above the total caloric expenditure. However, the number of calories to increase may vary depending on current weight, target weight, gender, age, height, diet time and energy spent on activities throughout the day.

Example of calculating caloric intake to gain weight

To find out how many calories a 30-year-old woman, 45 kg, 150 cm tall, who works sitting, who walks 3 hours a week and wants to reach a weight of 50 kg, the calculator does the following calculations:

Basal energy expenditure: (14.818 x Weight) + 486.6=1153.41 calories.

Total calorie expenditure: 1153.41 calories x activity factor (1.55)=1787.78 calories.

1787, 78 calories + 500 calories=2287.7. This means that the amount of calories this woman needs to eat to gain weight is 2287.7 calories a day.

Because it's important to know how many calories to eat

Knowing the amount of calories you should ingest is important, as consuming the proper amount of calories in your diet helps maintain he alth and general well-being.

However, eating more calories than you burn per day can promote excessive weight gain, contributing to he alth problems such as diabetes, obesity or cardiovascular disease, for example.

On the other hand, consuming fewer calories than you spend in the day is one of the tools used to help people who are overweight or obese lose weight.

How to eat the recommended calories

Some tips to keep your calorie intake within the recommended value, according to your goal, are:

  • Eat 2 servings of fresh vegetables a day, at lunch and dinner, such as broccoli, lettuce, chard, chayote, zucchini or okra;
  • Eat 2-3 servings of fruit a day, such as oranges, papayas, plums, avocados, kiwis, acerola, figs, grapes or melons;
  • Eat 5 to 6 meals a day, in small portions;
  • Prioritize low-fat proteins such as tofu, eggs, white fish or chicken;
  • Prioritize he althy fats such as olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, chia, pumpkin or sunflower seeds.

It is also important to prioritize the consumption of wholegrain cereals, such as brown rice and wholegrain pasta, as they help control hunger, avoiding excessive food intake in the diet.

In addition, it is recommended to practice physical activities regularly, as it helps to balance daily caloric needs, preventing diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression or anxiety. Discover all the he alth benefits of physical exercises.

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