How many calories do I need?
Know Your Calories
I hear this question all the time - mostly from people who want to lose weight. Though it's always best to see a registered dietitian
, here is a tool I provided in my book "Positively Ageless" to give you an idea how to calculate your calorie requirements.
KNOW YOUR CALORIE NEEDS
An important step in maintaining long-lasting health is to make sure you don't eat too much. Not only may minimizing your calories help you live a longer life, but also being overweight is linked to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and a host of other illnesses that are more likely to strike as you get older.
A great way to get an idea of how many calories you need each day is called the Harris Benedict Equation. For most people, it offers a good estimate of daily caloric needs, though it may underestimate your needs if you're very muscular or overestimate them if you're very overweight.
1. Multiply your weight in pounds by 4.35.
2. Multiply your height in inches by 4.7.
3. Multiply your age in years by 4.7.
4. Add the numbers you wrote down in Steps 1 and 2, then add another 655. Next, subtract the number you found in Step 3. Write down your final answer.
5. The amount of exercise and other movement you do each day plays a role in how many calories you need. Multiply your number from Step 4 by:
- 1.2 if you get little to no exercis
- 1.375 if you get light exercise 1 to 3 days a week
- 1.55 if you get moderate exercise 3 to 5 days a week
- 1.725 if you exercise vigorously 6 or 7 days a week
- 1.9 if you exercise vigorously more than once a day, or you exercise vigorously daily plus have a physical job
Write your final number down here. This is how many calories you should take in each day. And if you're trying to lose weight, subtract 20 percent from that number. This formula is not a replacement for personal medical advice. Consult your doctor before beginning any weight-loss program.
For more recipes and nutrition tips, check out Cheryl's Blog