How Many Calories Should I Be Eating?

by Jen on October 6, 2016

Are you looking to get better results with your weight loss? It’s important to know how many calories you should be eating!

How many calories should I be eating? It's important to know if you want to lose, maintain, or even gain weight! Here's how.

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “How many calories should I be eating each day?”

That is a tricky question, and one I can’t answer right away. How much you should be eating depends on a lot of factors:

  • Age
  • Current weight
  • Your height
  • Your goals (lose weight, maintain weight, gain weight.)
  • Your activity level

While eating a certain amount of calories each day is important to reach your goals, it’s not as black and white as calories in vs. calories out. YES, that has a LOT to do with your results, but you also have to remember that the type of calories you are eating play a part as well. So if you are eating clean 85-90% of the time, then let’s figure out how much you should be eating…

I personally like to use the LoseIt app to track my calories, and my Polar H7 along with it.

HOW MANY CALORIES YOU SHOULD BE EATING

STEP 1:

Calculate your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) – this is the number of calories you need to eat just in order to survive.

Your current weight x 10 = RMR

STEP 2:

Calculate your Daily Activity Burn (DAB) – this is the number of calories you burn based on your daily activities (NOT including your workout.)

Sedentary (i.e. desk job) RMR x 10% = DAB

Active (i.e. waitress) RMR x 20% = DAB

Very active (i.e. construction worker) RMR x 30% = DAB

STEP 3:

Add your calories burned from your daily workout (DW.) If you aren’t sure, click here to find out the average calories burned for different types of activities. *Personally, I wear a chest strap heart rate monitor so I know exactly how many calories I burn during my workouts. This will be the most accurate.

STEP 4:

Subtract your calorie deficit (CD) or add your calorie surplus (if you want to gain weight) or don’t do anything else (if you want to maintain your weight.) A deficit of 500 calories per day averages to a loss of about 1 pound per week.¬†

STEP 5:

Put the numbers together.

RMR + DAB + DW – CD = Your Calorie Target

**Remember to NEVER drop below 1200 calories. Your body will go into starvation mode and store fat which is NOT what you want!**

A great site that I recommend if you want to look at different calorie calculators is at freedieting.com

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