How Many Calories Do I Need?

Your body is the best computer system in the world. It’s able to calculate the calories you eat and burn off. You can’t sneak a snack without it knowing. You can’t miss a workout without consequences. If you remember that your body is either burning or storing the food calories you eat, you can take control of your weight loss…or gain.

So, what is a calorie? It’s energy. It’s the fuel your body needs to run like a virus-free, computing machine.

For every calorie you eat, you must have a plan on how to work it off. If you eat too many calories the excess will end up as fat on your thighs, butt and other unwanted places. If you eat as many as you burn off, you’ll be maintaining your current weight. Now, if you burn more calories than you take in daily through regular exercise and a healthy, balanced and nutritional eating plan, you’ll be on the path toward losing weight.

Weight management depends upon the energy balance equation; the amount of energy you put into your body (food calories) versus the amount of energy you expend through regular, physical activity.

So, how do you know how many calories your body needs to reach or maintain a certain weight?

The Old-Fashioned Method
Or, you can also roughly estimate your daily calorie requirements using these simple formulas, which are based on your daily activity levels:

For sedentary people: Weight x 14 = estimated cal/daily
For moderately active people: Weight x 17 = estimated cal/daily
For active people: Weight x 20 = estimated cal/daily

Moderately active is defined as three to four aerobic sessions per week. Active is defined as five to seven aerobic sessions per week. Sedentary means that you probably spend most of your time sitting instead of moving.

So, now that you know all about energy balance, how are you going to start burning today’s calories? Go ahead, get moving!

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