Daily Calorie Requirements
What are your daily calorie requirements? In short, your daily calorie requirements are the calories required to keep us alive and healthy. Daily calorie requirements can vary significantly from one person to the next. Therefore, your personal daily calorie requirements are the calories that you need to provide your body with enough energy to sustain your life.
Without enough calories, even on a keto diet or low carb diet, brittle nails and hair loss are some things you may notice if your body has to grab whatever nutrients available to keep functioning. We are amazingly designed, so many times it may take a while to realize that you are not getting enough protein and/or fat calories in your diet.
Let’s say you purchased a car with a 20 gallon tank that requires premium unleaded fuel only. Well in the land of dieting, the car represents our body, the tank represents our daily calorie requirements, and the fuel represent our macronutrients.
Just as a larger car will have a larger gasoline tank, use more fuel, and ultimately require more fuel, a taller or heavier personal will need more fuel or calories than a smaller person. Therefore, your daily calorie requirements or amount of fuel needed for the body must be calculated based on your height, weight, and level of activity to determine how many calories you need. The quality of different macronutrients we choose will determine how efficiently our body will run.
We all need a certain amount of calories each day depending on our current weight and activity. Before dieting, most of us clearly ate more than enough to maintain our physiological health. Otherwise, we would not have excess stored energy (fat).
Therefore, most people are more interested in their daily calorie requirements for losing or maintaining a certain weight once it has been achieved. When losing weight, you can calculate to see how many calories you are currently eating to maintain your current weight. Then, implement a “weight loss” goal to determine how many calories must be removed from your diet in order to lose a certain amount of weight over a period of time.
Once you reach your weight loss goal, you must maintain your daily calorie requirements to keep the same weight. Nevertheless, if you stop losing weight before you reach your ultimate weight loss goal, it is likely time to recalculate your daily calorie requirements,
Generally speaking, men should eat about 2700 calories per day while women should eat about 2000 calories per day. To give you a better frame of reference, this generality is provided based on the average height of a man and a woman being 5’8 and 5’4, respectively. Therefore, gender and height are clearly factors affecting daily calorie requirements.
Yet, there is more.
A calorie is a unit of energy. Therefore, the calories we get from different foods provide us with needed energy. Most of the calories we need are used for energy to keep our heart, lungs, brain, and other organs functioning properly.
I am 5’8 tall. For my age, when I am physically active I need 2576 calories each day to maintain my weight. To lose weight, while active I must eat 2061 calories per day. When I get little or no exercise, I can only eat 1627 calories per day to maintain my weight. With no exercise, I can only eat 1302 calories per day to not gain or lose any weight. So, as an active person, if I went on a “general” 2,000 calorie diet recommended for women, I would be anorexic thin with my hair falling out. Therefore, each individual must calculate their own daily calorie requirements! Please do not just assume you need 2,000 calories each day. You may find that you need more or less.
How Many Calories Do I Need?
Once you choose a low carb diet plan. You can determine your daily calorie requirements using a calorie calculator. Then, once you determine your daily calorie requirements, you must implement a calorie deficit in order to lose weight. Both the maintenance and caloric deficit can be determined with the calorie calculator.
As you lose weight, you must continue recalculating your daily calorie requirements until you reach your weight loss goal. Once your weight loss goal is realized, you will not need to keep lowering your daily calorie requirements. At this point, you maintain your daily calorie requirements to keep the weight you want to be.
Clearly, a low carb diet plan is by no means a “one-size” fit all plan. Additional factors that must be consider are your personal health problems and limitations. Things like low carb, low sodium, low sugar, and gluten-free requirements must be factored into your low carb meal plans. This concludes our post on daily calorie requirements.