FOOD PORTIONS – How many calories do you need?

Most of us do not know how many calories our body needs in a day and can easily eat well over our daily calories without realizing it. The example we will use is based off a person weighing 150 lbs. (male or female). If you use the formulas below for a 150lb person they would require calories ranging between 1500-2250 a day, depending on their physical goal and level of activity. So we would need to determine an activity level and a personal fitness goal that would be right for an individual.

Now if our example ate a McDonalds “McFlurry” dessert with their lunch each day, that alone would be almost half of their daily calories at approximately 650 calories. WOW! When we break it down like that, it is easy to see how you could easily over eat in calories, therefore, storing excess body fat.

How many calories do you need to consume in a day?

There are several ways to determine your caloric needs, each depends on your level of physical activity and your physique goal. We recommend incorporating an active lifestyle with a good nutritional plan. With that in mind, let’s evaluate your activity level first. There are three activity levels:

Light activity:
This would be for people who sit at a desk job, and workout for 30-60 minutes a day.

Moderate activity:
If your job involves more motion and you are active in addition to your standard workout like, you take the stairs, walk to work, do a lot of housework or physically move around throughout the day.

Heavy activity:
This would be for people constantly on the move, physically like, athletes, construction workers or advanced fitness enthusiast.

Most people are light to moderate activity level. After you determine your activity level then let’s determine your caloric need to support your level of activity.

Determine your physical goal first, then we will calculate the calories and activities needed to get there. The formulas below are good guides to use whatever your physical goals may be.

1. If you are relatively lean and want to add on extra muscle:
You will need to take in more calories than what you burn off in a day. Therefore, a good measure is multiplying your body weight by 15 = total calories.

Example of 150lb person: 150 x 15 = 2250 calories per day.

2. If you want to gain muscle and lose body fat:
You will need to take in enough calories to support your muscles, but enough to burn off body fat. Therefore, you would take in the calories each day that you would burn off in that day, so multiply your body weight by 12. This is a good measure of calories needed to support any individuals caloric needs.

Example: 150 x 12 = 1800 calories per day.

3. If you want to lose body fat and lean out:
You will need to burn more calories in a day than what you take in. The important thing here is to make sure you are taking the right food to support your muscle, maintain energy and proper nutrients for your body. Multiply your body weight by 10.

Example: 150 x 10 = 1500 calories per day.

Remember to burn more calories in a day than what you take in, requires an increase in your physical activity and a close eye on your caloric intake. We recommend cardio training 3-5 days a week for 30-45 minutes a session to help burn that stored stubborn fat.