calculating caloric intake

Calculating Your Daily Maintenance Caloric Intake

The first thing people should do when they decide to either lose weight or gain muscle is determine their daily caloric needs. By having a reasonable estimate of what your body’s maintenance caloric intake is, you will be able to effectively plan your diet to reach your goals!

The first thing you need to calculate is your Basal Metabolic Rate. This sounds complicated, but all it entails is the amount of calories that your body needs to continue operating it’s bodily functions without dipping into fat or muscle stores. Technically speaking, if you did absolutely nothing all day and ingested this amount of calories, you would maintain your weight. The formula to calculate your BMR is as follows:

Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.8 x age in year )

It is extremely important to understand that this is just an estimate. To get a more accurate number, you would have to go to the doctor and get some tests done, but this number should be close enough.

Next, you have to multiply your BMR by an activity multiplier. The most popular formula is called the Harris Benedict formula. Its purpose is to compensate for activities you do every day. You take your BMR number from above and multiply it by one of the following figures.

If you are…

Sedate – BMR x 1.2

Lightly Active – BMR x 1.375

Moderately Active – BMR x 1.55

Very Active –  BMR x 1.725

Extra active – BMR x 1.9

Once again, note that these are just estimates.

Once you have completed all the calculations and have your daily caloric requirements, you can subtract 500 per day to lose weight, or you could add a surplus to start packing on some extra muscle!

What’s your daily caloric intake? Please leave a comment below…