How to Count Calories

Calorie Definition and Daily Requirements

A calorie can be defined as either an entity of energy that quantifies or gauges the amount of energy rations availed to the body. Technically, a calorie is defined as the quantity of energy that is needed to increase the temperature of a single gram of water by a single degree measured in Celsius. As opposed to the thinking of many, especially those on dietary regimes calories are very crucial in order for the body to function accurately. The recommended everyday calorie intake of a woman weighing sixty kilograms (132 pounds approximately) between of 18 and 35 is about 2000 calories. On the other hand, a man weighing 75 kilograms (165 pounds approximately) in the same age range will need an estimated 3000 calories from a healthy daily diet.

Calculating Daily Calorie Requirements

In order for an individual to calculate the exact number of calories they require to maintain a healthy weight, there some math involved. A straightforward formula which is known as the Harris-Benedict principle helps compute their basal metabolic rate, basically known as an individual’s BMR. A person’s BMR is influenced by several factors including their sex, weight, age and height. The formula will vary for both men and women; remember that the following formulas will be applicable only to adults. For women the formula is:

655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years).

On the other hand the formula for men is as follows:

66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years).

Considering Daily Activity

As to include an individual’s activity into calorie requirement, the following calculations can help. For those people who are rather sedate, multiply one’s BMR as above by twenty percent. For those who are moderately active, multiply the BMR by thirty percent and for those individuals who are reasonably active, multiply it by forty percent. Very active people must multiply their BMR by fifty percent; for those people who are extremely active, multiply by sixty percent. When these results are added to the individual’s BMR, they will have calculated the amount of calories needed to consume daily, to maintain their present weight. In order to lose weight, an individual should consume fewer calories than what is computed.

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