The formula for calculating the daily caloric intake

Unfortunately, it is not possible to accurately calculate the daily calorie rate. And the values that define special calculators, as a rule, are far from the truth. Why? The answer you will learn from this article.

It is impossible to choose the right diet for weight loss or, on the contrary, for the growth of muscle mass, without first calculating the daily rate of kilocalories. It is from this step that the formation of a diet for the main nutrients begins, that is, for fats, carbohydrates and proteins.

In the literature, you can find two basic formulas that help determine the rate of calorie intake. It is these formulas that are used by special fitness bracelets, simulators and smartphone applications. However, all the formulas used have huge errors, which, as a rule, are never mentioned anywhere.

caloric intakeDefinition of the term “calorie”

First and foremost is to determine what is calorie. The word is derived from the Latin term for heat energy. Originally the word had nothing to do with nutrition: it served to indicate the heat generated by the combustion of the fuel. Only at the beginning of the last century, the calories came to denote the energy obtained by the organism together with food.

Calorie content of any food is the heat that stood out would be by burning the food in a special device. It is important that the food is processed by the body differently. The proportion of assimilated energy may be 30-50% differs from the caloric value, which is specified on the product packaging.

Why is the formula wrong?

Formula which calculates the number of calories consist of two parts: the computation of basic metabolism, i.e. the energy required to maintain vital functions of the body at rest and activity, determined with great approximation.

in this lies the main mistake of any formula. After you have determined the level of basic metabolism, the resulting value must be multiplied by the activity coefficient, which can be defined in the range from 1.2 to 1.9. As a result, the difference can be up to 1500 calories.

How to calculate your base metabolic rate?

a Basic level of metabolism is determined by the Harris-Benedict equation, which takes into account the number of calories required for functioning of the nervous system, maintain a constant body temperature, the processing of incoming food and other needs. The formula does not include the energy that is spent on physical activity.

To calculate the individual activity level

In the classic formula used to determine the required number of calories in the daily diet, there are several types of physical activity, from minimal, involving the almost complete absence of loads, to very high (exercises occur several times a day).

it May seem that to determine the level of physical activity is quite simple. To calculate the body’s need for calories need to multiply the base metabolic rate that suits your gender and age, by a factor that ranges from 1.2 (minimal level of activity) to 1.9 for people who are subjected to big loads.

daily caloric intakeHow to choose the right ratio?

If you work in a mine or chop wood, you need to choose the maximum ratio. If the activity you are engaged in, connected with average physical activity, for example, you are doing what caring for cattle, use of ratios of 1.55. Such recommendations were given by the authors of the formula at the beginning of the last century. Of course, jobs that involve prolonged work at the computer, not in the list.

So when you enter your age and gender into a computer on a treadmill or in a fitness bracelet, you can’t assume what kind of ratio the device will choose to calculate the daily calorie intake. Maybe you’re lucky and the ratio will be in the range of 1.4 to 1.7, that is, the error will not exceed 20% or 500 calories.

How to be in the end?

If you base metabolic rate is about 1700 calories, your job requires physical activity and you three times a week go to the gym, then a day you should consume 2500 to 3000 calories. This figure is quite approximate and not an absolute recommendation.

more Important to look for a reliable formula, and to listen to their own body. Try to eat about 2500 calories a day, while evaluating their own health and the dynamics of the reduction or increase in weight. Gradually, you can increase or decrease the calorie content of their food to find the ideal value. Blindly follow the data that “give away” applications that should not be.

All devices that “define” the body’s need for calories, give only approximate results. They take into account the basic level of metabolism and also the rate of physical activity, which is calculated approximately. As a result, the error can be from 500 to 1000 calories. Therefore, it is more important to listen to the needs of your body and to follow its changes, rather than trying to determine the ideal calorie taken per day with food.