How many calories do you need? According to WikiHow “Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S”. This is both scary and indication that we need to watch our calories.
The bottom line is that if you eat more calories than you need you will gain weight. So how do you determine how many calories is enough? It’s not complicated but it may surprise you how few calories are needed unless you add regular activity to your daily regimen.
There is a simple formula that gives you a good baseline and here goes: Take your current weight and multiply it by 10. For example, a 130 pound woman will multiply 130 X 10 = 1300. This is your baseline calorie requirement. A man who weighs 180 will multiply that number by 10 = 1800. This is his basic requirement.
The basic requirement only gives us a guideline as to what our body needs to maintain when it is entirely inactive. This would mean someone lying in bed all day. So, where do we go from here? If you do nothing but walk to and from your car, sit at your computer, then head home to watch television you can still add 10% to this calculation.
Our woman gets an extra 130 calories and the man gets 180 bringing their totals to 1430 and 1980. This is not a lot of calories and can be consumed in one meal if you’re not careful. One jumbo cheeseburger with fries and a shake comes close to 1300 calories! WHOA!!
What do you do with this information? Please understand it is very general. Younger people who are still growing will use more calories. The older we get, the less energy our bodies need to maintain us so, someone at age 70 we will need less calories than someone at age 40. Each of us is unique so we certainly can’t gauge an exact calorie need by the formula described. It is a starting point and a guide line. It is also a reminder that you are what you eat.
Try this general guide and see how it works for you. Tweak it to your needs. Finally, and we’ll talk about this in another article; you can adjust the number of calories you consume by your level of activity.
While you don’t control your gender, your body type or your ideal weight, you have total control over your activity level and what food goes in your mouth.
Food for thought…
Link to Youtube Video above