How many calories do you need per day?

You can currently find several calorie diets like 1200, 1800, 2,000 calories, 2,500 calories and more, but the question remains, what is the right amount for you?

To determine the number of calories you require, you must first understand the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) principle. This refers to the number of calories your body burns even at rest.

This rate can vary greatly from person to person and is generally determined by genetics. Although men are known to have a higher metabolic rate compared to women because they naturally have greater muscle mass

BMR is also affected by hormones. For example, thyroxine, which is created in the thyroid gland. If the body does not produce enough thyroxine, it will decrease. On the other hand, if you produce too much thyroxine, your metabolic rate could increase up to 100% of your normal rate.

Estimating your caloric requirements

Each person needs a different caloric intake. It is not the same to do sport as to be sedentary, to be tall than to be short, to be 20 or 60 years old … although that does require a minimum of energy to live: to digest food, to function bodily organs, to bones. To find out how many calories we need, we must start by calculating our basal metabolism which accounts for 60-70% of the total calories our body spends daily. There are different formulas for their calculation, among which, a very easy to apply is the following:

Men: Kg of body weight x 24
Women: Kg of body weight x 21.6

To this result, we must add the one that would correspond to the physical activity that we realize daily.

  • ┬áIf your activity is low (sedentary life, work sitting in an office, watching TV), your spending does not increase.
  • If your activity is slight (go shopping, clean the house, go walking to work “20” minutes, climb 6 floors a day, …), your spending increases by 100 Kcal.
  • If your activity is moderate: work in which there is a physical effort, you will dance twice a week, you walk more than an hour a day …, your spending increases 200Kcal.
  • If your activity is high: running every day, gym …, your spending increases 400 Kcal.

Another important variable is age. The greater the person, the lower their caloric needs. Thus:

  • If you are between 45 and 55 years old, you subtract 100 calories.
  • If you are between 55 and 65, subtract 200 calories.
  • If you are between 65 and 75, subtract 300 calories.

Therefore, if you are a 60-year-old woman, 60 kg and with a slight activity, your caloric need will be:

60 Kg x 21.6 = 1296 Kcal. +100 = 1396-200 = 1196 Kcal.

Therefore to maintain your weight you must do a diet of 1200 Kcal. If you want to lose weight, you can do it with a diet of 1000 Kcal.