Whether you are a man or a woman, your body needs the energy to perform your daily activities. These energy needs come from the food we eat. These foods are calculated in units of calories. The calculation of daily calories will be different from one person to another depending on age, gender, and height, the physical activity they practice, current weight. Each individual has a different daily calorie intake and when you consume more calories than you need, well you’re gaining weight. It is therefore essential to have a balanced diet and count Calories Intake in order to lose fat or lose weight, for example. And conversely, gain muscle by slightly increasing our intake.
You must be able to know your intake and Calories Intake and modify them according to your objectives. But if you have no idea what calorie intake and calorie requirements are, then I’ll enlighten you!
What are the Calories? How to Measure Your Daily Calories Intake? Know How Many Calories Do I Require?
Calories are units that measure the energy intake found in the food we eat and we need to calculate them.
- 1 gram of carbohydrates provides 4 kilocalories,
- 1 gram of protein provides 4 kilocalories,
- 1 gram of lipids provides 9 kilocalories.
Each food, therefore, brings you a number of calories or joules. For basmati rice, for example, it is around 350 kcal per 100gr. For chicken breast, it is more or less 110 kcal per 100gr. When these foods are added, they are your daily calorie intake. It is this intake that will determine whether you will gain, maintain or lose weight. Of course, the quantity of macronutrients is also important.
How Many Calories Do You Require to Lose Weight?
“How many calories can I eat?” We frequently ask ourselves this query. As a solution, you can calculate your calorie consumption on this page. So you will know exactly how to adapt your diet to your goals.
Losing weight effectively and without suffering the yo-yo effect is possible. But for this, it is important to establish a healthy calorie deficit. That is to say? This means that since your body expends energy even at rest, it is strongly advised not to consume fewer calories than the amount required by your basic metabolism. By using a slight caloric deficit in accordance with your training goals and your physical expenditure, you will be able to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way.
Rule number one: you should not have a calorie deficit of more than 500 calories. If you cut your calorie intake too suddenly, you will slow your metabolism. As he will try to make up for a high-calorie deficit, you will more often feel the need to eat.
The daily caloric intake must be related to your daily Calories Intake. Knowing how many calories you consume each day isn’t going to get you very distant if you don’t know what you require. It is, therefore, necessary, in addition to knowing its contribution, to be able to calculate its Calories Intake. For this, you have different solutions available.
Calculate Your Calories Intake Requirement Through Experimentation
Here is a method that is not based on any mathematical formula and which has, in addition, the merit of being precise! You just require to have a little patience and be organized. All you need is a scale to weigh yourself weekly and a scale to weigh your food. The principle is simply to compare your caloric intake with the evolution of your weight. Over a period of one week, you weigh everything you eat to establish an accurate calorie total.
If at the time of weighing you lost weight, it is because your caloric intake is below your needs. You are therefore in deficit, which can be interesting when you want to lose fat. If, on the contrary, you have gained weight, it is because your intakes are greater than your needs, perfect when gaining muscle.
The only problem with this method is that it takes three to four weeks to find out exactly what your needs are based on how your body weight changes. The advantage is that once the weight has stabilized, you know exactly what you need.
Calculate Your Calories Intake Requirement Using Mathematical Formula
Many researchers have developed formulas that are generally relatively precise and allow a good, potentially adjustable working base to have the best possible results. No formula can give you a 100% precise result, the only way to calculate your Calories Intake with maximum precision is to spend 24 hours with a respiratory mask measuring the amount of CO² you expel each minute…
Not very practical! That said, it is a method that exists and is practiced in scientific research. But for the general public, it is still simpler to rely on these more accessible equations. Here are the two most popular and, to me, the most accurate:
P = Weight in kg
T = Size in cm
A = Age
Mifflin St-Jeor’s equation
BMR = 10P + 6.25T – 5A + 5
BMR = 10P + 6.25T – 5A – 161
The Harris-Benedict equation
BMR = 13.397P + 4.799T – 5.677A + 88.362
BMR = 9.247P + 3.098T – 4.330A + 447.593
The result of these equations is not enough to establish your calorie needs precisely. BMR (basic metabolism) is only an estimate of the number of calories you consume outside physical activity! We must then multiply this figure by an activity coefficient to take into account everything that is likely to “burn calories”.
This activity coefficient is as follows:
- BMR x1,1 = Sedentary, no physical activity
- BMR x1.2 = Light physical activity once or twice a week
- BMR x1.3 = Moderate physical activity three to four times a week
- BMR x1.4 = Daily moderate physical activity
- BMR x1.5 = strenuous physical activity six to seven times a week
So with these formulas, you get an estimate of your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) which is the total amount of energy you spend in a day, all activities combined. So you have a clear idea of your calorie needs.
Example for a 25-year-old man, 180cm weighing 78kg and practicing bodybuilding six days a week.
BMR with the Mifflin St-Jeor equation = (10×78) + (6.25×180) – (5×25) + 5 = 1785 kcal
1785kcal x 1.5 = 2677 kcal
With this result, this 25-year-old man will have to consume around 2700 kcal to maintain his body weight. If he wants to gain weight (and muscle), he will have to utilize more than 2700 kcal to be in a caloric surplus. On the contrary, if he wants to lose weight (and fat) he will have to consume less than 2700 kcal to be in a caloric deficit.
Of course, these results are estimates. Even if they are, in general, relatively precise, you will surely have to adapt them slightly according to your own evolution. The advantage of using these formulas is that they allow you to have a working base and not to navigate “blind” when you are trying to reach a goal. Most of the applications available on smartphones take care of the calculation for you. You can completely rely on your favorite application to establish your calorie needs. As a precaution, you can also do the calculation on your side and compare the two to have more usable resources.
“What Can be Measured Can Be Controlled”
As with training, the more knowledge you have, the convenient it will be to measure your progress. And that, I can guarantee you that it will save you a lot of time!
A balanced and quality calorie intake!
Knowing the number of calories to consume each day is essential to reach your goal. However, it is essential that this caloric intake is of quality and balance.
For the same energy intake, a poor diet based on industrial dishes will in no case have the same value as a natural diet, rich in nutrients.
For the same number of calories, a high-carbohydrate diet will not have the same value as a high-protein diet. It is therefore essential to concentrate on the distribution of macronutrients. For a sporty person, the rule is as follows, whatever your objective:
• Consume 1.5 g. of proteins per kilogram of body weight: meat, fish, eggs, vegetable proteins…
• Consume 1 g. of lipids per kilo of body weight: olive oil, oilseeds, fatty fish…
• The carbohydrates will complement your diet. They serve as a caloric adjustment. If you want to lose weight, you gradually reduce it. If you want to acquire muscle mass, you will increase your intake.
In fact, to lose weight, gain mass or keep your weight stable, focus especially on your carbohydrate intake and especially on the glycemic index of foods.
Calculating your daily caloric requirements is essential in order to determine the number of calories per day necessary to keep your weight stable (maintenance). From this data, you will be able to build a coherent diet, as close as possible to your needs.
Always reduce or gradually increase the number of calories. Any sudden change in your diet will disrupt your hormonal system and slow down your weight loss.
So do the same to explode your goals as quickly as possible! Good luck 😉