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How Many Calories Do I Need a Day?

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Use this simple formula to estimate your calorie requirements:

  1. Change your weight in pounds to kilograms: Your weight divided by 2.2
  2. Your basal metabolic rate is approximately 1 calorie per kilogram per hour. Multiply your weight in kilograms by the 24 hours in a day. This is the number of calories you burn just being alive each day.
  3. Now factor in activity: Multiply your calories needed per day (from #2 above) by the following percentages, depending on your activity level:
    • Light activity: 50% to 70%
    • Moderate: 65% to 80%
    • Heavy: 90% to 120%
    If you sit at a desk for your job, and workout 30 minutes per day, this would be light activity. If your job involves more motion and you are active in addition to your workout (you take stairs, walk to work, do alot of housework, etc.), this would be moderate. Heavy activity would be for construction workers, athletes, etc. Most Americans are in the "light activity" level.
  4. Multiply the percentages in #3 and you'll get a general range of calories needed for your daily activity. Add this to the number of calories needed to be alive each day.
Say you weigh 150 pounds. Divide by 2.2 to get 68 kilograms.
68 times 24 hours = 1632 calories needed per day for basic function.
Let's say you're activity is light:
1632 times 50% = 816
1632 times 70% = 1142

Add this to basic calories per day to get a range of 2448 to 2774 calories needed per day. Now compare this to what you are really eating. To lose those extra pounds, you'll need to burn more calories than you are eating, either by exercising more, or eating less.

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