How to calculate your caloric intake

A common question that gets asked is how man calories should I be having? in reality it comes down to the math. Every person is different and therefore requires a different amount, you can't decide that you should just go on a 1200 calorie diet for no reason other than "it sounds good".

I'm going to help you in calculating your calories. 

Part 1: BMR (basal metabolic rate)
For Men: (10 × Weight in kg) + (6.25 × Height in cm) - (5 × Age in Years) + 5 = BMR
For Women: (10 × Weight in kg) + (6.25 × Height in cm) - (5 × Age in Years) - 161 = BMR

Then Multiply BMR by activity level number.

Example: I am moderately active = BMR x 1.55 = TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) 

Part 2: Activity Factor Guide: 
1.2 - Sedentary: You work a desk job and don’t exercise (probably not many of you). 
1.375 - Light activity: You work a desk job but do a bit of regular exercise. Or you do little exercise, but you work a job that’s pretty active (i.e. a nurse, teacher, etc.) where you’re on your feet most of the day. Most of you reading train hard and are decently active. 
1.55 - Moderate Activity: Most of you will probably fall in this category. Maybe you work a sedentary job but train like a madman. Or maybe you train moderately but also have a job where you stand on your feet all the time. Someone who doesn’t train but works a hard labor job would fall into this category as well. 
1.725 - Very Active: You train most days of the week really hard and you also work a job where you’re on your feet quite a bit. Overall, you’re active throughout most of the day. 
1.9 - Extra Active: You train hard and work a job that’s also intense in nature. As an example, maybe you’re a roofer, but you also go to the gym five days a week.

Diving up the calories
Working out your macro split I would suggest as the following:

Multiply by LBM (lean body mass)
0-30 yrs old = 1.8-2.0g/kg LBM 
30-40 yrs old = 2.0-2.3g/kg LBM 
40-50 yrs old = 2.3g-2.6g/kg LBM 
50-60 yrs old = 2.6-2.9g/kg LBM 
60-70 yrs old = 2.9-3.2g/kg LBM

Note: 1 gram of protein equals 4 calories


- If you eat carbohydrates and feel energetic, multiply your protein amount by 0.3

Example: protein equals 210g
210 x 0.3 = 63.
63g of fat is my daily requirement

- If you eat carbohydrates and feel lethargic, multiply your protein amount by 0.5
Example: protein equals 210g
210 x 0.5 = 105.
105g fat is my daily requirement.

Reasons for this - your energy levels after eating carbohydrates is a great indicator of your ability to break down carbohydrates and insulin sensitivity. This can change over time so monitor your body's responses as time goes on.

Note: 1 gram of fat has 9 calories

Fill the remainder of your calories with carbohydrates.

Current calories = (210 x 4) + (63 x 9) = 1,407 calories.
TDEE = 3,080 calories.

Carbohydrates = 3,080 - 1,407 = 1,673 calories. 1,673 ÷ 4 = 418.25g carb/day

Note: 1 gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories
Based off this my daily food would like the following:
Calories: 3,080
Protein: 210g
Carbs: 418g
Fats: 63g

I eat 6 times/day, I would then divide the above numbers by 6 and they would be my nutritional targets each time I ate.


I hope this has helped you to understand how much you should be eating for a maintenance level.

Now if you are not eating this much currently and have a big gap between the 2 and you are not trying to be in a deficit or a surplus, I would suggest you close the gap over a few weeks. This will minimise any unnecessary body fat. 

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