The number of calories you need depends on many factors, including physical activity, gender, age, weight loss goals and overall health. It’s important to estimate how many calories your body requires to both maintain and lose weight when determining your needs. To calculate your overall calories needs, it’s necessary to calculate the total number of calories you typically burn in a day, which is known as your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) . You can determine your TDEE is by using an equation such as the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation, a formula in which you use your height, weight and age. Here is the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation for both men and women:
- For Men: Calories per day =10x(weight in kg) + 6.25x(height in cm) -5x(age) +5
- For Women: Calories per day = 10x(weight in kg) + 6.25x(height in cm) – 5x(age) -161
To calculate your TDEE, the answer from the Mifflin. St. Jeor equation is then multiplied by a number corresponding to your level of activity, known as an activity factor. There are five different levels of activity:
Sedentary: x 1.2 (sedentary individuals who perform little to no exercise)
Lightly active: x 1.375 (light exercise fewer than 3 days per week) Moderately active: x 1.55 (moderate exercise most days of the week) Very active: x 1.725 (hard exercise every day)
Extra active: x 1.9 (strenuous exercise 2 or more times per day) After determining your TDEE by multiplying the answer from the Mifflin. St-Jeor equation with the correct activity factor, calories can be adjusted depending
on your weight loss goals. Creating a Calorie Deficit for Weight Loss While weight loss is much more complex than the “calories in, calories out” way of thinking, generally speaking, a calorie deficit needs to be created to lose body fat. Typically, a reduction of 500 calories per day is suggested to lose 1 pound (450 grams) per week. Though this would equate to a 52-pound (23.5-kg) weight loss in one year.