How Many Calories Should You Eat
Most people have trouble figuring out how many calories they should eat in a day. There are two equations to help you estimate your caloric requirements. The first is the Harris Benedict Equation or the Mifflin-St Jeor equation (most recent). I find the Mifflin-St Jeor equation to be more accurate and reliable. After figuring out the equation you must also take into account your activity and injury factor.
Mifflin St Jeor Equation:
- Females = [10 X wt. (kg)] + [6.25 X ht. (cm)] – [5 X age (yrs.)] - 161
- Males = [10 X wt. (kg)] + [6.25 X ht. (cm)] – [5 X age (yrs.)] + 5
Activity Factors (AF)
- 2 Confined to bed
- 3 Ambulatory
- 4 Active
Injury Factors (IF)
- 1-1.2 MINOR SURGERY
- 1 SEVERE THERMAL BURN
- 2-1.5 PERITONITIS
- 35 SKELETAL TRAUMA
- 4-1.8 SEPSIS
- 75 AIDS
- 14-1.37 SOFT TISSUE TRAUMA
I will use myself as an example:
130lbs = 58.9kg
5 feet, 4 in = 162.5cm
25 years old
[10 X 58.9] + [6.25 X 162.5] – [5 X 25] – 161 =
589 + 1,015.6 – 125 – 161 = 1,318.6 basal energy expenditure (BEE)
BEE is the energy needed to carry out BASIC fundamental metabolic functions; basically what you need to survive each day.
After you find your BEE, you are ready to figure out your calorie requirements per day.
Calorie requirements = BEE x Activity Factor X Injury Factor
Calorie req= 1,318.6 (BEE) X 1.4 (AF) = 1,846
I don’t have any injuries so I leave that part of the equation BLANK.
A good way to keep track of your calories is through a simple app called MyFitnessPal. When hitting your calories for the day, focus on your macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats). Make sure each meal is balanced with lean meats, whole grain carbohydrates and healthy fats! Try and exercise at least 3-4 times a week; you can ALWAYS make time! Remember, it’s 80% diet and 20% exercise. Don’t exercise for nothing; be ahead of your nutrition. Make your lunch the night before, cook two dinners a week in bulk so you have leftovers and make sure you’re drinking half your body weight in water (oz).
Lisa is currently a Dietetic Intern at Marshall University. Her education specializes in Dietetics, with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from The University of Connecticut. After graduating, she will become a Registered Dietitian and will have completed her Master’s Degree. Lisa is also a Certified Personal Trainer; She loves interacting one-on-one with her clients and truly making a difference in their lives. She loves educating others on how both nutrition and exercise influence human performance and health. Lisa has grown up with a passion for living a healthy lifestyle, and she wants to share her knowledge in order to make a difference for others.