## Calculating Daily Calorie Requirements

Forum for all info and question about fitness and exercise.

Mossy 757
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### Calculating Daily Calorie Requirements

For those starting a fitness program in order to improve their well being, lose weight, gain muscle, or generally improve their health, one of the most important steps is understanding your food needs. This is typically measured in terms of kilocalories, referred to colloquially as just "calories."

If you're on a tight budget to afford this year's latest kiting gear, you might also get some great benefit from keeping track of your calories so you don't spend any valuable gear money on unnecessary food. You can meet these calorie needs many different ways, but for those of us refreshing our quiver of race foils every year, a big sack of rice and jumbo pack of ground beef goes a long way to meeting these needs on a shoestring budget...

One of the most accurate formulas for calculating calorie needs is the Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation. This is the current method most nutritionists and dietitians use when consulting with patients and clients, it has been validated in a variety of published studies.

From Livestrong.com:
According to Nutrition Therapy and Pathophysiology, the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation was developed in 1990 and has been validated by more than 10 studies. The Mifflin-St. Jeor equation is gaining popularity among the nutrition professionals for accurately estimating caloric needs. The equation is as follows: for females = 10 x (Weight in kg) + 6.25 x (Height in cm) - 5 x age - 161; for males= 10 x (Weight in kg) + 6.25 x (Height in cm) - 5 x age + 5. These equations are also multiplied by the same physical activity factors* to estimate daily caloric needs.

So for my 75kg of "naked weight" I would use the formula thusly:

((10 x 75kg) + (6.25 x 175cm)-(5 x 31yrs old)+5) x 1.2 = 2032 calories per day...so for an average height/weight young-adult male, I need almost exactly the FDA recommended value of 2,000 calories per day to maintain my current body weight given my activity factor.

There's an easy to use calculator at this link that will allow you to use any units of measure as it automatically converts.

Once you calculate your calorie requirements, there are a lot of ways to track and manage your eating habits to hit your targets. I'm a fan of http://www.myfitnesspal.com because there's an easy to use cellphone app that allows me to keep a daily log of food and allows me to track Protein, Carbs, and Fat separately and also has a huge user-verified library of foods where people have input the calories and nutrient composition, so finding my favorite foods and logging them correctly is quick and easy. I'll cover nutrient ratios in a separate post, but being able to focus on a low car/high fat nutrient breakdown is how I lose weight while feeling good. Switching to a high carb/low fat diet allows me to put on weight and muscle while also having tons of energy for sports, so this is a very valuable feature for me.

* this is the physical activity factor cited elsewhere on the page I linked, 1.2 is for a sedentary lifestyle (I work an office job) 1.3 for a more active life and 1.4 for people who are active daily. If you're in doubt about which activity factor to use, pick the lower of 2 options, it will under-estimate your calorie needs and be a more conservative answer when it comes to weight loss or maintaining your current weight.

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### Re: Calculating Daily Calorie Requirements

Nice post.

Kamikuza
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### Re: Calculating Daily Calorie Requirements

2700 calories? I want to lose weight, not put it on

Mossy 757
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### Re: Calculating Daily Calorie Requirements

Kamikuza wrote:2700 calories? I want to lose weight, not put it on
Most people are surprised how the math works out...keep in mind that the activity factor you multiply by has a HUGE effect on the overall outcome of the math. Most people over-estimate their activity factor, so my rule of thumb for a weight-loss program is to scale down by .1 to ensure you're creating a mathematical calorie deficit and then see if you're losing weight too quickly. A safe deficit is about 500-1000 calories per day, which should result in about 1-2lbs of weight loss per week.

If you're really out of shape, that rate is usually pretty easy initially. If you're in really good shape and trying to go the final mile towards sub-15% body fat, that kind of a deficit might be too extreme and cause your strength training workouts to either stall or regress, so again, it's a back and forth. If you're not a weight lifter, then you'd feel this when you kite/mountain bike/etc. in the form of reduced stamina or peak power production.

The goal is to create a target, aim for it, then assess and continually update and adjust. Weight loss/gain is a secondary side effect of fitness and health goals, so if you're getting stronger and feeling good, it's okay to add in calories to keep yourself fueled unless you're truly preparing for some kind of aesthetic competition or powerlifting event.

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### Re: Calculating Daily Calorie Requirements

plummet
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### Re: Calculating Daily Calorie Requirements

Kamikuza wrote:2700 calories? I want to lose weight, not put it on
Select the weight you want to be then do the calculation. Then go about not eating more than that amount.

plummet
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### Re: Calculating Daily Calorie Requirements

By the way interesting topic.

I refuse to count callories. Or do any fitbit type of fitness step type counting. I hate it. Makes me go all competitive and extreme on myself and I end up creating a new job to burdon myself with.

But I made some diet changes this year that have made a great improvement in my life.

First up I don't drink alcohol or coffee. Haven't done that for years and years.
This year I gave up refined sugar. More to increase my stamina and get ride of the mid day tiredness and lows associated by with the sugar spikes and lulls. Though giving up sugar is freaking hard as its in almost every packet thing you buy. I settled on a rule of no more than 5% sugars. Natural sugars that are still attached to the fibers are open slather. So eat an apple instead of a biscuit or a cake. Fruit juice is out because the sugars have been separated from the fibers. Have a smoothie instead.

I felt shitty for 2-3 weeks as the sugar withdrawals kicked me around. But then I felt sooooo much better than when I was regularly eating sugar. My afternoon tiredness at work stopped completely. I was less irritable and less stressed, I used to get hungry have to eat every couple of hours or I got real shitty. After killing the sugar I could go hours and hours without eating. So the eating I was doing wasn't because my body needed it. It was sugar addiction.

After killing the sugar the weight started to fall off me. The by product of not eating refined sugar is it kills most "snacks" that you eat and sugary drinks that you just don't need. I wasn't to fat to begin and am very active doing multiple days a week of exercise per week. I dropped from 84.5 down to 76kg. To give you an idea. When I was 25 (20 years ago) I raced mountain bikes nationally. My race weight was 73 kg. So I am pretty damn stoked to be within 3kg of my 25yr of race weight. I have added muscle mass from kiting since then too.

The reduced weight and no sugar combo has significantly improved my endurance and fitness as well. I can kite for hours and hours and hours and feel very little fatigue.

So.... If anyone wants to improve there diet and loose weight without counting calories. Kill the sugar!

Mossy 757
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### Re: Calculating Daily Calorie Requirements

plummet wrote:If anyone wants to improve there diet and loose weight without counting calories. Kill the sugar!
What you just described sounds a lot like a diet called "Slow Carb."

There are 5 rules, so long as you're following these 5 rules, do whatever you want:

Rule #1: Avoid “white” starchy carbohydrates (or those that can be white). This means all bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and grains. If you have to ask, don’t eat it.
Rule #2: Eat the same few meals over and over again, especially for breakfast and lunch. You already do this; you’re just picking new default meals.
Rule #3: Don’t drink calories (soda, milk, juice, etc.). Exception: 1-2 glasses of dry red wine per night is allowed.
Rule #4: Don’t eat fruit. (Fructose –> glycerol phosphate –> more bodyfat, more or less.) Avocado and tomatoes are excepted.
Rule #5: Take one day off per week and go nuts. I choose and recommend Saturday.

What you're essentially doing there is replacing simple sugars that metabolize to fat and replacing them with complex carbs attached to fiber. The replacement for bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, grains, etc. are things like beans, veggies, legumes, nuts, etc.

I can cite a couple of points in there that I think you could argue and exception to, but ultimately the goal here is to replace the modern "crap" we all eat with more wholesome, cooked from scratch foods. This is not only an easy way to loose weight, it's a fool-proof way to save money. A sack of beans and a tough piece of meat in the crock pot falls right in line with this diet and is about the cheapest menu option available in a modern 1st world grocery store. If you know how to add spices and herbs, you can make an almost unlimited list of delicacies by following this simple formula. You can also effectively execute a slow-carb diet plan by limiting your restaurant food choices to things like Chipotle, Sushi, Thai food, etc. Skip the rice, substitute beans or veggies, don't add fattening sauces and boom, you're there. A plate of sashimi, edamame, and seaweed salad is totally slow carb. A Chipotle bowl with double beans instead of rice, hold the sour cream and cheese is a slow carb dream. Any kind of thai food, especially stir fries, work well if you omit rice.

The cheat day is essential though, it not only resets your leptin levels (a hormone that regulates nutrient storage) but allows you to power through the next 6 days without feeling like you're on a never-ending conveyor belt of canned tuna and celery.

plummet
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### Re: Calculating Daily Calorie Requirements

Mossy 757 wrote:
plummet wrote:If anyone wants to improve there diet and loose weight without counting calories. Kill the sugar!
What you just described sounds a lot like a diet called "Slow Carb."

There are 5 rules, so long as you're following these 5 rules, do whatever you want:

Rule #1: Avoid “white” starchy carbohydrates (or those that can be white). This means all bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and grains. If you have to ask, don’t eat it.
Rule #2: Eat the same few meals over and over again, especially for breakfast and lunch. You already do this; you’re just picking new default meals.
Rule #3: Don’t drink calories (soda, milk, juice, etc.). Exception: 1-2 glasses of dry red wine per night is allowed.
Rule #4: Don’t eat fruit. (Fructose –> glycerol phosphate –> more bodyfat, more or less.) Avocado and tomatoes are excepted.
Rule #5: Take one day off per week and go nuts. I choose and recommend Saturday.

What you're essentially doing there is replacing simple sugars that metabolize to fat and replacing them with complex carbs attached to fiber. The replacement for bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, grains, etc. are things like beans, veggies, legumes, nuts, etc.

I can cite a couple of points in there that I think you could argue and exception to, but ultimately the goal here is to replace the modern "crap" we all eat with more wholesome, cooked from scratch foods. This is not only an easy way to loose weight, it's a fool-proof way to save money. A sack of beans and a tough piece of meat in the crock pot falls right in line with this diet and is about the cheapest menu option available in a modern 1st world grocery store. If you know how to add spices and herbs, you can make an almost unlimited list of delicacies by following this simple formula. You can also effectively execute a slow-carb diet plan by limiting your restaurant food choices to things like Chipotle, Sushi, Thai food, etc. Skip the rice, substitute beans or veggies, don't add fattening sauces and boom, you're there. A plate of sashimi, edamame, and seaweed salad is totally slow carb. A Chipotle bowl with double beans instead of rice, hold the sour cream and cheese is a slow carb dream. Any kind of thai food, especially stir fries, work well if you omit rice.

The cheat day is essential though, it not only resets your leptin levels (a hormone that regulates nutrient storage) but allows you to power through the next 6 days without feeling like you're on a never-ending conveyor belt of canned tuna and celery.
Well not quite. I'm breaking all those rules. But I agree with replacing the modern crap with a natural unprocesses thing. Eg make a fruit smoothie rather than buy fruit juice. Fruit sorbet rather than icecream.

I'm not avoiding starchy foots. So bread, pasta, rice, grains is open slather. I've anything i'm eating more long chain carbs like potatoes.
I'll eat different meal. I like variety
Milk is in. Theres no added sugar plus its below my 5% limit. Juice is out that's like 40% sugar. soda's just sugar water so that's out!
I eat lots of fruit. heaps of it. But my research says that sugars attached to fibres ie fruit releases slower than refined sugar so its good!..
I don't take one day off per week. Its a diet change I stick too. But I do love chocolate. So I have developed a chocolate recipe with no added sugar!... that is my decadence.

After few months of killing the refined sugars you taste buds reset and you find sugary food overly sweet and quite gross to eat. You no longer crave it and walk past that foot in the supermarket without feeling an urge to by it. You find other foods that you enjoy. More natural replacements for the sugar filled packets of shit you used to buy.

Kamikuza
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### Re: Calculating Daily Calorie Requirements

plummet wrote:
Kamikuza wrote:2700 calories? I want to lose weight, not put it on
Select the weight you want to be then do the calculation. Then go about not eating more than that amount.
Yeah that might have a difference! should have been mentioned somewhere?

Which begs the question -- how to select suitable target weight?

1,800 now. Stupid equation.