Conundrum time - calorie intake, we know that we need them to help our bodies to run, but we also know that too many of them will make us overweight. So what's the best way to determine our optimum daily calorie intake?
Your requirements are measured by adding together how much energy your body needs to perform all it's essential functions and how much energy you expend in a day through movement and exercise.
Your minimum calorie intake has to at least match your Basal Metabolic Rate, which is the energy your body burns up doing things like making new red blood cells, breathing, heating itself, pumping blood, eating and expelling waste. For most people, the minimum calorie intake hovers somewhere around 1500 to 2500 per day. This varies depending on your size, weight, gender, age and muscle mass. Obviously, because muscle tissue is where energy is burned, the more muscle you have, the more you burn, even when you are stationary. So to discover how many you need to get through the day, you need to first figure out where your Basal Metabolic Rate falls in the spectrum.
Then you need to determine how much energy you expend moving through your day. You need to factor in simple locomotion, which is just how much walking around you do. If you make a point of exercising on top of that, then the amount of energy you expend beyond what it takes to simply keep your body going will be quite high. If you add these two figures together, you should have an idea of how much you can eat per day and continue to maintain your current weight.
If you are seeking to gain or lose weight, you will have to either increase or decrease your intake, or else increase or decrease the amount of activity you do.