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Calculate Your Daily Calorie Intake

Counting calories is a common exercise, not just for weight watchers, but for most people who are conscious about their health and of course their body-shapes. It is a well-known fact you need to be aware of your daily caloric requirement as well as your daily calorie intake for weight maintenance and weight loss purposes. In case you consume a higher amount of calories than what is recommended, you are likely to put on weight. At the same time, if you consume fewer calories than what has been advised, you are probably depriving your body of essential nutrients, which again, could have an adverse effect on your body. Therefore, it is important for you to know how many calories you should consume on a daily basis.

At the same time, you also need to keep a track of your actual daily calorie intake for weight maintaince or weight loss purposes. However, this apparently is a lot easier said than done. Most dieters and weight watchers consult their nutritionists, dieticians and perhaps even fitness instructors for help on how to calculate daily calorie intake. Unfortunately, there are quite a few people who are not even sure of what exactly a daily recommended calorie intake is.

What is the per day calorie intake?

Your body burns calories throughout the day, based on the activities that you engage in. If you are quite active, your body will naturally burn a higher number of calories, as compared to those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. However, were you aware that your body burns calories, even when you are not really doing anything? This is because calories are burnt by your body, while it performs some of the most basic functions, while you do not even move. Some of the functions that causes your body to burn calories include maintaining normal temperature in the body, breathing, sleeping, digesting food consumed and beating of the heart, just to name a few. The actual number of calories burned during the day for these activities varies, based on factors like your age, body weight, gender and metabolic rate. In case your body does not get the number of calories it requires each day for any reason, it is only natural that its basic functioning will be adversely affected. Of course, if you are physically active during the day, your body will end up burning a higher number of calories, thereby elevating your daily caloric intake. Therefore, it is important for you to calculate daily calories required for functioning properly, before you start counting calories or cutting down on the consumption of certain foods.

How to calculate daily calorie requirement?

Every individual is different and therefore, the basic metabolic rate is likely to differ for each of us. The basic metabolic rate can be described as the rate at which your body burns calories. Some of the different factors that influence a person's basic metabolic rate include age, gender and body weight. For example, younger people tend to burn more calories while performing a task, as compared to those who are also. It is also believed that men burn more calories than women do, which is why their daily recommended intake of calories is higher, as compared to women. It is also important to realize that your body weight plays a very important role in the amount of calories you burn; the more you way, the higher the number of calories burnt. Based on these factors, given below are the daily recommended calories for different people:

  • Men: A minimum of 2,000 calories, to 2,200 calories during the
  • Women: Between 1,700 and 2,000 calories a day
  • Teenagers: At least 1,600 calories, to 2,400 calories every day
  • Children: At least 1,800 calories in a day
  • Toddlers (Boys): Between 825 and 920 calories each day
  • Toddlers (Girls): Between 765 and 865 calories a day
  • Infants (Boys): Between 545 and 690 calories every day
  • Infants (Girls): Between 515 and 645 calories every day

Of course, these figures are generic guidelines that have been set for average people, without taking body type and health conditions into account. In case you are wondering "how do I calculate my calorie intake", it is best for you to consult a professional dietician or a nutritionist. Alternately, you could also access a daily caloric needs calculator, easily available through most websites. You'd need to enter details about your age, gender, activity levels and so on in this calculator and it will tell you how many calories you should consume on a daily basis, in order to maintain your current body weight.

Calculating daily calories to lose weight

The amount of calories that you should consume on a daily basis, when you are trying to lose weight depends a lot on how much weight you would like to lose, as well as the duration. One pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories and therefore, in case you are aiming to lose one pound in the week, you need to ensure that your body receives 500 calories less than what is recommended every day. For example, if your daily recommended calorie intake is 1,800 and you are trying to lose weight, you need to ensure that you consume no more than 1,300 calories or that you burn off the excess by exercising. Some people cut down their caloric consumption by 250 and burn off the other 250 calories when they exercise, thereby making it easier to lose weight.

How to count daily calories eaten

People who are trying to lose weight are usually advised to consult a dietician, to know exactly which foods they should eat on a daily basis, along with the number of servings. However, not everyone has the time or resources to consult a dietician. In case you are one of them and are wondering "how do I calculate my calorie intake?" there are several websites that may be able to help you. These websites contain a list of common foods and all you need to do is enter the number of servings you consumed. These online calculators take into account the calories present in foods as well as the number of servings you had, before giving you an idea of how many calories you have eaten. However, do bear in mind that these calculators are not always 100% accurate.

Submitted on January 16, 2014