Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How to calculate daily caloric needs

As part of my free Fitness Assessments that I offer members at Anytime Fitness, I measure each persons body fat% so that I can determine their lean and fat mass amounts.  To me, these numbers are much more important than the number on the scale.  But finding out how much lean mass and fat mass you have is only part of the equation, literally.

Finding out how many calories each of us needs to consume on a daily basis (aka: resting metabolic rate) is one of the most important aspects of nutrition to consider.  Whether you are a professional athlete looking to stay strong and lean, or someone who wakes up, goes to work, comes home and goes to bed, the amount of daily calories (known as fuel) you need to consume can be determined in a simple equation.

Supplying the body with adequate amounts of fuel will provide stable energy levels, improve muscle recovery and repair, as well as encourage better food choices for a healthy, well-rounded diet.

Various studies have shown that NOT meeting your daily caloric needs can cause endurance performance to suffer, decrease the ability to build muscle, increase fatigue, and reduce the immune system effectiveness.

Below I have provided the equation to help you calculate how many calories YOU need each day based on your activity level.

Weight (lbs.) / by 2.2 = weight in kg
[Body fat %*/ by 100] x weight (kg) = body fat (kg)
Weight (kg) - body fat (kg) = lean body mass
500 + [22 x lean body mass] = Resting Metabolic Rate

*Body fat% can be determined by some scales and also by a Personal Trainer with skinfold calipers or bioelectrical impedence.

Activity Levels (Estimated Activity)
Light activity - 1.3 - 1.5
Moderate activity - 1.6 -2.0
High activity - 2.0 - 3.0

Resting Metabolic Rate x Estimated Activity Level = Calories Required Per Day

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