How Many Calories Do You Need?
When we speak of calories in relation to a particular food, we mean the amount of energy that food provides our body to fuel its’ metabolic processes. Weight control comes down to a process of energy. If we take in more energy than we use, the rest gets stored as fat. If we burn more energy than we consume, our body relies on our energy stores to make up the deficit.
The types of foods we select play an important role on how our bodies look and feel because calories from celery, kale or Greek yogurt have a much different ‘energy‘ than those of Oreo cookies, donuts, or bacon cheeseburgers… You want to think of food selections as FUEL! Load your cells with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and you will give yourself a super charge of feel-good energy and will glow from within.
How Many Calories Do I Need to Maintain My Weight?
The most accurate way of determining how many calories you need per day is based upon your basal metabolic rate. However, this calculation is complex and involves multiple steps. An easier way to estimate the number of calories you need is as simple as the below calculation:
Multiple your current weight in pounds by 10 for women (and 11 for men).
Example: 135 pounds x 10 = 1,350 calories for your basic needs.
Next, figure out your energy needs for physical activity. Determine which of the following activity levels closely matches your lifestyle:
- 10%- Sedentary: mainly sitting, driving, lying down, sleeping standing, reading, typing or other low-intensity activities
- 20%- Light activity: light exercise, such as walking
- 30%- Moderate activity: moderate exercise three to five times per week, such as gym, housework, dancing, etc.
- 40%- Much activity: active physical sports or labor-intensive job
Then, multiple your basic energy needs by your activity level.
Exp: 1,350 x 30 percent = 405 calories
Next, multiple by 10 percent for calories needed for digestion and absorption of nutritents:
1,350 + 405= 1,775 x 10 percent= 175.5 + 1,755= 1,930.5
In this example, this woman’s total energy demand is 1,930.5 calories per day.
If she wants to lose weight, subtract 500 calories per day from your total and you will lose 1 pound per week, which is healthy and a stable approach to weight loss.
As mentioned above, not all calories are equal. The more consistent, healthy choices you make, the less you will have to worry about “counting calories.” While certain popular weight loss “programs” have their place and can be a great way to get a person to start thinking differently about portion sizes and food choices, those systems will only last as long as you are ON them… Eating pizza, pasta, and cheeseburgers on a point or packaged-system will not get you ripped or have you looking like a super model. In the cases where they do, I guarantee your insides, mood and overall health will be telling a different story.
Physical activity is a very important component to weight loss and your energy levels, as it helps to speed up your metabolism, tone up, and gain healthy muscle, but the food choices you make are most important! You need to ensure you are eating the right types of foods to fuel and recover from your workouts. Calories in vs. burned need to be monitored, so you don’t deprive your system of what it needs to run efficiently. Restricting calories and excess activity can lead to fatigue, restlessness, anxiety and sickness.
A worthy investment would be working with a Health Coach or buying books to educate yourself on proper nutrition. It is important to understand how foods can heal, work to help you lose weight, cure an ailment and have you looking and feeling the way you want. You will also have the FREEDOM to select the foods you want, when you want them, and not feel restricted, deprived or held hostage to a system that keeps you in a box.
The message I hope to get across here is you need to think of food as ENERGY and FUEL. When you select foods, from the earth and not from a man-made package or creation, you will not only lose weight, but will feel completely different…The “energy” from healthy choices, like organic fruits, veggies, lean proteins, seeds, nuts, etc…are much better for you and will do much more for your mind, body, soul, productivity and lifestyle… Some health benefits include, long shiny hair, glowing skin, strong nails, brighter eyes, less wrinkles, better sleep, increased”mojo” and more!
The Importance of Calories:
We need calories to LIVE…to do the things we LOVE to do!
When you restrict yourself or don’t select the proper types of calories, you are depriving your body and cells of the vital energy needed to live life to the fullest… Use the basic calculation above to ensure you are getting enough calories to meet the basic energy needs of your body, and deduct accordingly for healthy, mindful weight loss.
“You only get ONE BODY IN LIFE, so treat it the BEST way possible!”
– The Balanced Beauty