The calorie consumption or energy is the relationship between the energy consumed and that of which the body needs.
In this article we will explain how to calculate it and what to do to increase or decrease your calorie consumption .
Things to know about calorie consumption
To maintain an energy balance, it is necessary that the energy consumed is equal to that used (or needed). In fact, if we consume more than we need, the consequence is weight gain. And if we ingest less of it, we can lose weight. But be careful, because malnutrition can also occur, as the reserves of the body begin to be used.
The diet we follow will be closely linked to energy consumption, as well as to our age and the activities we perform every day. It is not about eating or anything else to gain weight or even going to the gym to lose weight… adequate nutrition will help us achieve a goal.
The number of calories ingested per day varies according to our purpose. For example, if we want to lose weight, we will have to follow a low-calorie diet (with fewer calories than necessary) and if we want to increase muscle mass, a high-calorie diet (more calories).
Furthermore, we can opt for a ‘normal calorie’ diet if we want to maintain the balance between what we eat and what we burn.
Calorie consumption: how to calculate it
Regardless of our goal, it is essential to calculate your daily calorie or energy consumption. There are several formulas for obtaining this data.
As a first measure we must know our consumption of the basal metabolism (MB as an abbreviation), that is, the calories that are consumed only to perform vital functions : breathing, digesting, heartbeat etc.
The most used equation to calculate the MB is the Harris-Benedict equation and is the following:
- For women : 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)
- For men : 66 + (13.7 weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.5 x age in years)
For example, a 35-year-old woman who weighs 65 kg, and is 160 centimeters tall will have a MB of 1402 calories per day. Another, more imprecise, but faster option is to multiply the weight x 24 x 0.9 in women and only x 24 in men.
With the initial formula we already know what amount of calories the body needs to stay in a state of rest. To this quantity you will have to add the consumption according to physical activity.
- Sedentary individuals: MB x 1.2
- Lightly active people (exercise 1 to 3 times a week): MB x 1.3
- Moderately active people (exercise 3 to 5 times a week): MB x 1.5
- Active individuals (exercise every day): MB x 1.7
- Hyperactive people (intense or professional exercise every day): MB x 1.9
If the woman in the example goes to the gym three times a week, then her calorie consumption is 1822 calories. If your goal is to lose weight, you will need to diet below this amount. On the other hand, if you want to gain more muscle, you will need to eat more than this each day.
Obviously, not everything is very precise as it is about individual biology. For this, we can use these formulas as an indication, but not as a single or absolute data.
It is always advisable to consult a nutritionist, who will know what your needs are and will indicate a diet according to any goal, considering various aspects (activity, age, amount of exercise, diseases, etc.).