Knowing how many calories you need to consume daily is essential for losing, gaining, or maintaining weight. To determine this, one way has been with a technique called the Harris-Benedict formula, which is one method used to estimate your basal metabolic rate (BMR).
By definition, BMR is your rate of metabolism (the conversion of calories and oxygen to energy) at rest. It is the minimum level of energy required to sustain vital functions such as breathing, digestion, and circulation. The Harris-Benedict formula is often used to assist weight loss by ensuring that you reduce the intake of calories below what you need to maintain weight.
Three ways How to calculate your daily calorie needs
1. Use an online calculator
You can calculate your total calorie needs with the number of available online calculators.
These may be easier to use and less complicated than doing the required mathematical equations yourself. You can find a variety of calculators from weight loss and wellness clinics and some medical associations’ websites.
Make sure you choose a reliable website and do not use calculators from blogs or other personal sites. Most of these calculators operate in the same way. You’ll input your height, weight, gender, age, and activity level. Have this information handy when you calculate your needs.
2. Determine your basal metabolic rate or BMR by equations
Your BMR is the calories your body requires to perform daily, life-sustaining functions. It’s the rate of your metabolism or the number of calories your body burns at rest.
Your body needs a set number of calories to stay alive and function normally. Anything from beating your heart to breathing or digesting food requires energy from calories. It accounts for the most significant amount of total calories burned each day.
The BMR equation for the average American woman for instance, is: (4.7 x your height in inches) + (4.35 x your weight in pounds) – (4.7 x your age in years). Add 655 to this total for the BMR.
For example, too, the BMR equation for the average American man is: (12.7 x your height in inches) + (6.23 x your weight in pounds) – (6.8 x your age in years). Add 66 to the total for the BMR.
You will use your BMR in the Harris-Benedict equation to find out how many calories you burn with activity included.
3. Consider body fat percentage
More muscular bodies or people with low body fat and high levels of lean muscle may need more daily calories than ordinary people.
If you’re an athlete or naturally have a lower body fat percentage, you may need more calories than predicted by online calculators or mathematical equations.
Lean muscle mass burns more calories than fat mass. Eating a small amount may help you reach a more appropriate calorie goal. Also, note that overweight or obese people may overestimate daily calories with the Harris-Benedict formula.
How many calories should you take on averages
The number of calories you should eat per day depends on numerous factors, including your age, sex, height, current weight, activity level, and metabolic health, among several others. When trying to lose weight, it’s essential to create a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories than you usually do or exercising more. Some people choose to combine the two, eating a little less while being more physically active.
Still, it’s essential to ensure that you’re eating enough calories to provide your body with the nutrients it needs, even if you’re trying to lose weight. The most essential part of any weight loss plan is sustainability. This is why many experts recommend small calorie reductions to promote sustainable weight loss.