How Many Calories Do You Need?

Probably the most common question asked by people who are trying to monitor their weight would be how many calories they really need on a daily basis. It is true that you can encounter various calorie diets such as the 2,000 cal diet, there is the 2,500 cal diet and many other more. The question still remains, what is the right amount for you?

Prerequisites In Determining Your Calorie Need

In order to understand how much you'll need, you should first understand the principle of Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is an important factor in determining the amount of calories that your body needs.

What Is Basal Metabolic Rate?

Your basal metabolic rate or BMR refers to the amount of calories that your body burns even while resting. Basically, the human body requires some calories in order to do vital body functions such as breathing, pumping of blood, and maintaining body temperature. The BMR represents the minimum amount of calories that you need to survive in a state where you are not engaging into any kind of activity. Literally, it represents the measure of calories you need just to dwell in bed and sleep throughout the day.

The higher your BMR is, the more calories you'll burn off without having to engage in any kind physical activity. The rate of one person can vary greatly with another. A person's BMR is somewhat grounded in genetics. Generally, men have a higher metabolic rate compared to women, due to the reason that they are predisposed to naturally having greater muscle mass at the same time, lower body fat percentage.

Hormones And BMR

Basal metabolic rate is sometimes affected by hormones. For instance, Thyroxin, which is created in the thyroid gland, is one very vital factor in BMR. If your body does not produce sufficient amount of thyroxin, your rate will slow down. On the other hand, if your body produces too much thyroxin, your metabolic rate could increase even up to a hundred percent of your normal rate.

Other Factors To Consider

Other than gender and genetic factors, there are people who simply have naturally slower metabolisms, while others simply have naturally higher metabolic rates. The rates can change significantly in relation to your age and level of activity you do every day. In general, the leaner body mass you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate is. Conversely, the higher your body fat percentage, the lower your basal metabolic rate will be.

In Relation To Calorie Requirement

As you can see, the metabolic rate of each person differs. Hence, so does every individual's daily calorie requirement. Generally, if your metabolic rate is higher, you'd need to have more calorie intake. On the other hand, if you have a pretty slow metabolism, this means your body only needs small amount of calories for vital purposes. Hence, your daily calorie needs would be less.

Estimating Your Calorie Needs

Since there are many factors to consider when determining your calorie needs, it take extensive research, monitoring and testing before a person can really know their exact daily calorie requirement. There are still methods that you can do in order to estimate how much your body really needs.

Here's one convenient and quick way for you to estimate your calorie needs. What you need to do is simply multiply your current weight by 15 in order to have the number of calories that you'd need every day just to maintain your current weight.

If you presently weight 140 pounds and you're very much happy with your present weight, you'll need (15 x 140) approximately 2100 calories everyday just to maintain that weight. However, you should understand that this number is quite a general starting point, mainly because a lot of factors are not yet considered, such as whether you are active or sedentary, male or female, young or older. Take note that its only an estimate.

You should keep in mind that that computation gives you the number for maintaining your weight. Losing weight would be another story. If you're aiming to shed off some fat, multiply your current weight by 10. For instance, if you weigh 130 pounds and you want to weigh less, you would have to limit your calorie intake to (10 x 130) 1300 calories per day.

Electronic Scales

The other option that is becoming more accessable for home use are electronic scales that measure your a range of factors: Weight, fat as a percentage of your body rate, muscle as a percentage of body weight, hydration, bone density and also BMI.

Many of these are very effective in giving you an overall snapshot of your body health and, like all scales, even if the initial reading is not exact they are excelent for measuring change.
Use the scale to get a start point and the true value is to measure change rather than focucing on the initial readings.

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