The rule of calories per day: how to calculate and if necessary

Calories are something you can control: there are special formulas for calculating your daily needs and all foods are labeled with calories. If desired, a person may overestimate or underestimate their number, but such practices, according to experts, are not very useful and can even be dangerous.

Experts in this material:

Natalia Antonova, endocrinologist, nutritionist at SM-Clinic.

Marina Alexandrova, nutritionist, weight loss consultant, @aleksandrova_bez_diet

What is the calorie rate?

Calorie is a unit of energy that the body receives from the breakdown of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. To indicate the value of products, kilocalories (kcal) per 100 g are most often used. One unit of kcal equals 1000 calories. Another indicator on food labels is kilojoules (kJ). This is equivalent to kilocalories in the International System of Units and 4.2 kJ equals approximately 1 kcal.

In addition to the quantitative parameter, calories are also evaluated in terms of quality. Getting the same number of calories from different foods does not mean that they will be absorbed by the body in the same way. For example, the energy from fats may be numerically equal to the calories from fruits and vegetables, but its benefits to the body will be less. [1].

Daily calorie intake

Everyone has a different metabolism and each body burns the energy it receives at its own rate. For example, during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or adapting to a very cold climate, the need for energy increases by 15–20%. [2].

According Recommendations of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, on average, men need from 2150 to 3800 kcal / day, women – from 1700 to 3000 kcal / day. For children under one year, the daily norm is determined by the ratio 110-115 kcal / kg and from 1300 to 2900 kcal / day with increasing age. Detailed recommendations for each age group look like this [3]:

Daily calorie intake for men

  • eighteen-29 – 1692-1746;
  • thirty-44 – 1615-1684;
  • 45-64 – 1490-1583;
  • 65-74 – 1405-1449;
  • 75+ – 1362 or less.

daily calorie intake for women

  • eighteen-29 – 1337-1392;
  • thirty-44 – 1269-1338;
  • 45-64 – 1166-1259;
  • 65-74 – 1091-1136;
  • 75+ – 1045 or less.

How to calculate your own calorie intake

Daily calorie intake depends on two main indicators: basal metabolic rate (BMR) and physical activity. The first is an indicator of resting metabolism and is expressed in mean values ​​for different ages.

The second variable is the physical activity factor (CFA) [4]:

  • 1.4 – sedentary lifestyle.
  • 1.6 – low activity.
  • 1.9 – average activity.
  • 2.2 – hard physical work.

Calorie intake is calculated using various formulas. You can do the calculations yourself or enter data into one of the electronic calculators. It should be borne in mind that each of the equations does not have absolute accuracy and reflects an approximate result.

In diet, the term calories came from physics. In this science, it means the energy that heats one gram of water by one Celsius.

© pexels

Harris-Benedict Formula

The equation was developed in 1919 and takes into account height, weight, age and gender, as well as the rate of physical activity.

  • For women: BM (basal metabolic rate) = 655 + [9,6 × вес (кг) ]+[1,8 × рост (см) ] – [4,7 × возраст (в годах) ] × CFA;
  • For men: BM (basal metabolic rate) = 66 + [13,7 × вес (кг) ] + [5 × рост (см) ] – [6,76 × возраст (в годах) ] × CFA.

Mifflin-Sant Jeora Formula

A relatively new formula, introduced in 2005. There are two versions – with and without physical activity.

First choice:

  • For women: BM (basic metabolism) \ u003d 9.99 × weight (kg) + 6.25 × height (cm) – 4.92 × age – 161;
  • For men: BM (basal metabolic rate) = 9.99 × weight (kg) + 6.25 × height (cm) – 4.92 × age + 5.

Second choice:

  • For women: BM (basal metabolic rate) = (10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (g) – 161) x A (activity level);
  • For men: BM (basal metabolic rate) = (10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (g) + 5) x A (activity level).

Physical activity factors for the Mifflin-San Geor type:

  • 1.2 – for sedentary people.
  • 1.375 – low activity.
  • 1,550 – moderate activity.
  • 1.725 – high activity.
  • 1,900 is a very high activity.

Ketch-McArdle calorie formula

It does not take into account the sex, weight and height of a person, but it does take into account body fat mass.

  • BM (basal metabolic rate) = 370 + 21.6 βάρος body weight minus fat.

Tom Venuto Calorie Calorie Formula

The formula was developed by bodybuilder Tom Venuto, so it is believed to be very popular with athletes.

  • For women: BM (basal metabolic rate) = 665 + (9.6 × weight in kg) + (1.8 × height in cm) – (4.7 × age in years).
  • For men: BM (basal metabolic rate) = 66 + (13.7 × weight in kg) + (5 × height in cm) – (6.8 × age in years).
Photo: pexels

Factors that affect calorie intake

Most of the energy consumed daily is spent on metabolism – from 50-80%. Extra calories are spent on physical activity related to sports and other daily activities. Here are some of the factors that affect calorie intake [5]:

  • Physiology. Height, weight, amount of muscle tissue, fat, etc. For example, infants and children have higher energy requirements per unit of body mass due to the nature of growth and the maintenance of body temperature.
  • Gender and age. Metabolism slows down with age due to loss of muscle tissue, as well as due to hormonal and neurological changes, which means that the need for calories decreases. As a rule, men have a faster metabolism than women.
  • hormones. Their imbalance can affect how fast or slow the body burns calories.
  • Outdoor temperature. The body constantly maintains the optimal body temperature, so if it is high or low in the outside environment, then you need to work harder.
  • Illnesses. With SARS or other diseases, energy is expended on building new tissues and the immune response.
  • Physical activityexercise, sex, etc. Muscle energy expenditure is about 20% of total resting energy expenditure, but during strenuous exercise, it can increase 50-fold or more.

Empty and healthy calories

Empty calories contain low-nutrition, high-fat, high-sugar foods, explains Natalia Antonova, an endocrinologist and nutritionist at SM-Clinic. These include, in particular, packaged juices, instant cereals, donuts, soft drinks, fast food, etc.

Eating such foods leads to a sudden rise in blood sugar, which causes a brief burst of energy, but a lack of fiber does not make you feel full – and after a short time the person will be hungry again. Regular adherence to such a diet leads to obesity, disorders of the endocrine system, heart and vascular diseases, warns the doctor.

“Quality” calories include cereals (buckwheat, oatmeal, brown rice, long-cooked oatmeal), green vegetables rich in fiber, red salmon fish, nuts, etc.

Natalia Antonova:

The same number of calories can be in a complete daily diet and in 200 grams of vegetable oil. It is necessary to maintain the balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, the correct distribution of products during the day and the observance of certain intervals between meals.

Carbohydrates and proteins have 4 calories per gram, while fats have 9 calories.

Carbohydrates and proteins have 4 calories per gram, while fats have 9 calories.

© pexels

Calories per day for weight loss

Measuring and underestimating calories in the diet is used to reduce weight. As a rule, a deficit of 10-15% is created for weight loss, if the goal is weight gain, then add 10%, explains nutritionist, weight correction consultant Marina Aleksandrova.

Warns that under no circumstances should the numbers fall below the basal metabolic rate, for example, as in all known diets with less than 1200 calories: “This is not only dangerous to health, but also threatens to slow down the metabolism. . The body will think that a hunger strike has come and will start saving energy, which will greatly complicate the whole process.

In terms of weight loss, a proper and rational diet is much more important than observing your daily calorie intake, says nutritionist Natalya Antonova. According to her, a leading role is given to the quality of food, meal times, biorhythms, product combination, physical activity, diet, drink, as well as the way of work and rest.

Why Calorie Counting is a Dangerous Practice and How to Lose Weight Without Diet

“It is recommended to start any change in the diet by consulting a specialist, detecting changes in metabolism, if any, by building an individual diet, taking into account all the characteristics of the body and lifestyle,” says the expert.

When designing a diet, not only the calorie content is important, but also the way in which proteins, fats and carbohydrates are distributed among these calories, adds nutritionist Aleksandrova. According to her advice, if you represent the total calories as 100%, then 45% should be carbohydrates (preferably slow), 25% fat and 30% protein.

Marina Alexandrova:

Basic principles of healthy weight loss:

  • slight calorie deficit
  • full sleep (7-8 hours, we go to bed before midnight).
  • enough water (your weight * 30 ml).
  • the presence of three main full meals, (nskipping at least one meal causes overeating).
  • Adequate physical activity (as a guideline – from 8000 steps per day and 2-3 workouts per week).
  • complete or partial abstinence from alcohol.

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