How many calories do I need when working out? What is my calorie requirement in a calorie deficit or calorie surplus? These are some questions our calculator can help you answer.
Calories are not a bad thing, it’s simply a measurement of the energy in the foods that we eat, which is essential for you to function in your daily life. And like most things in life a balance is preferred. A calorie intake that is too low or too high will eventually lead to health issues.
On average a man needs around 2,500kcal a day to maintain a healthy body weight compared to a woman’s 2000kcal a day. What impacts how many calories you need is a multitude of factors such as age, gender, genetics, body size and activity level.
While a calorie is technically equal another calorie some foods are better and more nutrient dense than others. So while it may be beneficial to count calories it could be equally important to focus on the quality of what you’re eating. Foods rich in sugar such as sodas, candy, ice cream or foods high with solid fats such as pizza, butter, milk, sausages and fried potatoes have high calorie density, what we call empty calories. Try and find food with good quality such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, fish and whole grains.
What is your goal?
Regardless of all the different diet strategies out there, weight gain and weight loss comes down to one simple thing, calorie intake versus calories burnt. In other words it’s a balancing act between eating more calories than your burn for gaining muscles or eating fewer calories than you burn for losing weight.
Cutting about 500 calories a day typically means that you’ll lose about 1 pound a week. Sadly when you lose weight it’s often a combination of fat, lean tissue and water.
The way to maintain a healthy weight is to balance the calories you consume with the amount your body uses.
And remember if you’re more or less active one day you’ll have to adapt your calorie intake to compensate.
The most important part of any weight loss plan is sustainability. it’s important to create a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories than you normally do. You can reach a deficit either by changing your diet or exercising more or combining the two, it’s up to your to find what’s working for you.
Some example changes that most people can do to decrease their daily calorie intake. Choosing more nutrient-dense foods, fruits, nuts, vegetables, limit sugary drinks, drink more water, exercise, less refined carbs and processed foods.
gaining weight & muscles
Understand that you need to supply the body with an excess of calories consistently, to create a new pound of muscle. Your body can build around 100-250g of muscles per week. Depending on factors such as genetics, age and diet. So if your calorie surplus is too great in an attempt to build more muscles you may gain excess fat too.
Remember as time goes by and you hopefully gain more muscles your calorie intake needs to consistently go up over time.
There are a great deal of people who can maintain a healthy weight without counting calories, but for others it’s a great tool when attempting to reach their weight goals. No matter if that goal is to gain weight or to lose weight.
The first step to counting calories is to find out how many calories you need per day (hint use our calculator above).
Once you know how many calories you need you simply start counting the number of calories in all the food you consume. A good idea could be to find an app that can help you with this.
Another tip is to try and eat as much nutrient dense food as possible instead of empty calories.