Right in the beginning, I would like to make it clear that the need to watch your required calorie intake exists even if you are sedentary and is not reserved only for individuals who are working out, being sedentary necessitates watching calories to an even bigger degree as the risk of getting overweight is way higher. And, as working out has a strong impact on how your physique will evolve, not following a workout regimen and having a sedentary lifestyle will lead to the following three outcomes:
- You will either deposit fat and might become really overweight or obese
- Or on the flip side, you may get skinny
- And in the third scenario, your body type will become a hybrid between the above two i.e. skinny-fat.
In any case, your body will not be athletic, or pleasant looking. The most important thing in transforming your physique is to always begin with relatively low body-fat levels because building up from there is a lot easier in addition to a good training and diet plan.
And you will not believe it but before I had my present-day physique I was looking like the aforementioned body-type, I was pretty fat and I managed to turn it around because I knew how to be disciplined with my calorific intake, nutrition plan, and calisthenics workouts regimen:
Everything begins with diet and this article is about how to estimate calories so you can achieve your optimal weight. Get it on point, and you will enjoy smashing your fitness goals.
There are two ways to determine how many calories you actually need, one is by consulting the chart I am giving you and another method is to calculate using the formula stated below.
The second option will be a little more accurate than the first. However, the result from both of these methods will at best be only an estimate because the required energy for a day will always be different every day depending on how intense or frequent is your training routine and other activities.
Find Your Required Energy from the Chart Below. The estimates are rounded to the nearest 200 calories:
|Gender||Age (years)||Activity Level|
|Child||2-3||1,000||1,000 – 1,400||1,000 – 1,400|
|Female||4-8||1,200||1,400 – 1,600||1,400 – 1,800|
|Female||9-13||1,600||1,600 – 2,000||1,800 – 2,000|
|Female||19-30||2,000||2,000 – 2,200||2,400|
|Female||51+||1,600||1,800||2,000 – 2,200|
|Male||4-8||1,400||1,400 – 1,600||1,600 – 2,000|
|Male||9-13||1,800||1,800 – 2,200||2,000 – 2,600|
|Male||14-18||2,200||2,400 – 2,800||2,800 – 3,200|
|Male||19-30||2,400||2,600 – 2,800||3,000|
|Male||31-50||2,200||2,400 – 2,600||2,800 – 3,000|
|Male||51+||2,000||2,200 – 2,400||2,400 – 2,800|
- These levels are based on Estimated Energy Requirements (EER) from the IOM Dietary Reference Intakes macronutrients report, 2002, calculated by gender, age, and activity level for reference-sized individuals. Reference size, as determined by IOM, is based on median height and weight for ages up to age 18 years of age and median height and weight for that height to give a BMI of 21.5 for adult females and 22.5 for adult males.
- Sedentary means a lifestyle that includes only the light physical activity associated with typical day-to-day life.
- Moderately active means a lifestyle that includes physical activity equivalent to walking about 1.5 to 3 miles per day at 3 to 4 miles per hour, in addition to the light physical activity associated with typical day-to-day life.
- Active means a lifestyle that includes physical activity equivalent to walking more than 3 miles per day at 3 to 4 miles per hour, in addition to the light physical activity associated with typical day-to-day life.
- The calorie ranges shown are to accommodate needs of different ages within the group. For children and adolescents, more calories are needed at older ages. For adults, fewer calories are needed at older ages.
You can also consult the chart offered by The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP).
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You will need to get an approximate idea of the calories you need to ingest and you need to experiment with it to find your sweet spot.
Every day is different and you cannot train at the same intensity. You have to fuel depending on your required energy (RE) for that day.
You can use food labels in order to see how many grams of each nutrient are present in different food items. This way you can get an idea of how much you eat during every meal and throughout the whole day. Repeating this exercise for a couple of days you will be able to estimate your calorific intake easily. So, the good news is that you don’t need to count your calories forever.
To be honest, I never count calories myself. I have enough experience to know what works for me and what doesn’t. But, I have studied these things and paid attention to them since the beginning.
Check out my article about the basics of nutrition to understand more about macros and the foods that provide us with calories.
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