How To: How Many Calories Do You Really Need?

How Many Calories Do You Really Need?

How Many Calories Do You Really Need?

If you eat out a lot or pay attention to all the pizza and fast food commercials then it seems like we need a LOT of food every day. Super size this and super size that. But how much food do we actually need?

Every person is different. Some of us have higher metabolisms than others. Some of us are couch potatoes and some of us work out every single day. The following is a formula to help you figure out how many calories you actually need every day to maintain your current weight. Keep in mind, this is just a guide and your caloric needs may be a little more or less.

First of all, you need to figure out what your body mass index is.

Take your weight in pounds and divide it by your height in inches.

Then take that number and divide it by your height in inches again.

Then multiply that number by 703. The number you get is your body mass index.

It's important to know where you stand based on your BMI.

There are 4 categories of BMI. If your BMI is 18.5 or less then you are underweight. Being underweight is just as unhealthy as being overweight. If you are underweight you should talk to your doctor to learn how to add healthy weight to your body. If your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9 then you are at a healthy weight. If it's between 25 and 29.9 then you are overweight and if it's 30 or over you are obese.

Now that you know your body mass index, it's time to determine your resting metabolic rate factor. If your BMI is 24 or lower, then your RMR factor is 11. If your BMI is between 25 and 29.9 then it is 10. If your BMI is between 30 and 39.9 then it is 9 and if your BMI is 40 or higher your RMR factor is 8.

Now that you know your resting metabolic rate factor it's time to figure out your resting metabolic rate. Take your weight and multiply it by the number you got for your resting metabolic rate factor. The number you get is your resting metabolic rate. Your resting metabolic rate is an estimate of how many calories your body burns while at rest.

Now it's time to figure out your physical activity level factor. If you're rarely active it is 1.2. If you work out 3 times a week it is 1.3. If you work out 4 or 5 times a week it is 1.4 and if you work out every day it is 1.7.

Now take your resting metabolic rate and multiply it by your physical activity level factor. The number you get is how many calories you need each day to maintain your weight.

Keep in mind this is simply a guide. The amount of calories you need each day may be a little more or less. If you are trying to lose weight, you should never dip below 1,200 calories a day. If you aren't eating enough, your body will shut down and your metabolism will slow down.

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