An active life, from going to work or school, doing sports or simply being on the run most of the day, can show its strains on the human body. Simply put we need to have a regular intake of calories so our bodies can replenish the energy used. As a result we wished to tackle the “How Many Calories do I Need a Day?” issue. We hope our article will provide a few useful answers.
What are calories?
Before we go any further we have to understand what calories are. The term is used to describe two units of energy. The first one, also know as small calorie or gram calorie, represents the amount of energy used to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius at a pressure of one atmosphere. The next term, known as food calorie, represents the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius.
These units of measurement have, in the metric system, been replaced by the joule. Nevertheles, the large calorie is still used as a unit of food energy and the small calorie is used in chemistry for measurements. The term ‘calorie’ has been coined by Nicolas Clement in 1824. It was used as unit of heat and was included in French and English dictionaries between 1841 and 1867. The term originates from Latin, where ‘calor’ meant ‘heat’.
In the context of nutrition, the International System of Units labeled the kilojoule as the unit of food energy. However, the term kilocalorie is commonly used as a value for nutritional energy. In consequence, the expressions ‘calories per serving’ or ‘kilocalories per 100g” are often used to express specific energy or energy density figures. In the end, “calories per day” is the expression used for nutritional requirements or intakes.
How Many Calories do I Need a Day?
The answer to ‘how many calories do I need a day’ is quite complex. It depends on a multitude of factors such as age, size, height, sex, lifestyle and general health. Simply put, a young adult requires far more calories than an elderly person for example.
Another interesting aspect in the ‘how many calories do I need per day’ matter is related to how we eat. A team of scientists from the Purdue University discovered that actions such as chewing food, highly impacts the amount of calories that gets into our system.
If you wish to know how many calories do you need a day then the recommended levels are around 2.700 for men and 2.200 for women. Nearly 20% of the energy used throughout a day is used for brain metabolism alone. This explains why we feel fatigue and an increased desire to eat when we have difficult tasks that involve mental processes.
Nutritionists advise us that a regular intake of 500 calories per day consisting of fruits and vegetables can satisfy hunger for a longer period of time than the same amount of calories consisting of snack foods. In addition to that, fruits ad vegetables do a much better job at maintaining optimal health levels. By doing so many, people who asked themselves “how many calories do I have to burn a day” to lose weight got exceptional results.
If you wish to know more on how many calories do you need a day, another crucial aspect is the lifestyle we have. To learn how many calories do I need a day we must also divide gender and age groups into three different quotas of physical activity. The groups are: sedentary lifestyle, moderately active lifestyle and active lifestyle.
This category involves little to no physical activity. If a person does little physical activity then that person may instead appeal to a small trick, nutritionists advise us. The breakfast, as we all know, is the most important meal during the day. In other words, a breakfast that contains 700 calories is perfect for losing weight, reducing the risk of diabetes, heart diseases and high cholesterol. For men and women in the age groups of 19-30 the levels of calories needed per day is 2.000 for women and 2.400 for men.
Moderately Active Lifestyle
If a person wishes to know ‘how many calories do I need a day’ when a moderately active lifestyle is involved then the answer would be between 2.600-2.800 for men and 2.000-2.200 for women. This is true for age groups between 19-30 years old. A moderately active lifestyle means that a person engages in phisical activity equivalent to walking 1.5-3 miles per day alongside regular day to day activities.
For people in this category the intake of calories is significantly higher. For men the regular intake of calories per day should be of 3,000. For women instead the level should be of 2,400. An active lifestyle includes regular phisical activities equivalet to walking more than 3 miles per day alongside regular day to day activities.
For men and women between 31-50 years old the answer to ‘how many calories do I need to eat a day’ is between 2.000 for women and 2.400-2.600 for men respectively. These levels are for people who are engaged in moderately active lifestyles.
If a person wishes to know ‘how many calories do I need to burn a day’ then the answer again is quite complex. A series of factors have to be taken into consideration from lifestyle to overall health. Because there are no two people alike, it is generally a good idea to consult a nutritionist first. After a series of tests, the nutritionist can advise on what is the ideal level of calories to burn per day.
So in conclusion, when dealing with issues such as ‘how many calories do I need in a day’ the answer can vary. Gender, age, lifestyles, height, size and overall general health are the main factors. Another important aspect when trying to learn what is the ideal body weight is largely dependant on other factors. Age is again present while bone density and muscle fat ratio are also important factors.
This brings to an end our article on “How many calories do I need a day”. We hope it proved to be most informative and useful in deciding what is the best course of action in this issue. We do however, adivse on consulting a specialist, such as a nutritionist, in this matter. The expertise can provide additional insight.