How Many Calories Should I Eat Each Day? May 26, 2011.

Hi Paulette,

Great question! Here is how to figure out how many calories you should be eating:

We first have to determine your base metabolic rate (BMR). This is the amount of calories required to sustain necessary biologic functions such as breathing, circulation, cell repair, etc. Then we have to add in activity calories and this tells us how many calories you need to sustain your current weight. If you want to lose weight, you will create a negative calorie balance by eating fewer calories and moving more than you normally do.

Let us get to the math.

Take your body weight and multiply it by 10. Guys would multiply their weight by 11. This is how many calories you need to keep systems operating. We add an activity factor to this value. Multiply your BMR number by 20% if you are sedentary; 30% if you are somewhat active; 40% if you are moderately active; and 50% if you are very active.

Unless you are running marathons every Tuesday and Thursday, or a professional athlete, you are not every active. Most of us fall into the sedentary, somewhat active categories.

Here is an example:  150 lb female that is somewhat active.

150 X 10 = 1500 X 30% = 450 + 1500 = 1950

If our 150 lb female consumes 1950 calories daily she will stay the same weight. If she wants to lose 1 pound per week, she will have to create a 500 daily deficit by either doing more exercise/ activity than she is currently doing or eating 500 fewer calories daily or a combination of the two.

The percentage of macro nutrients you consume is really determined by individual performance. A general guideline would be to keep your fat calories under 30% and your protein and carbohydrate percentages relatively close together. In a weight loss plan, I like to see the protein percentage a little higher and the carbohydrate percentage a little lower than normal preferences. An example of this would be 20% fat, 35% carbohydrate, 45% protein.

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