Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Daily Caloric Requirements

The human body runs on energy derived from food. This energy is commonly measured in kilo-calories  or Calories. Note the capital "C" representing the kilo prefix, meaning 1000 small calories. So the calories on the nutritional label are actually thousands of calories just simplified to prevent confusion.

Our bodies need a specific amount of Calories every day in order to function. Depending on the amounts that we supply our bodies with, different reactions will come about.  Too many Calories and our bodies will tend to store the surplus in the form we commonly refer to as "fat". Too few calories and our bodies although appearing to slim down, may actually resort to storing most of it's caloric intake as fat in order to be adequately prepared for the lack of incoming energy. You may be thinking "WHAT?!". To keep things simply, it is far better to know approximately how many Calories you need each day in order to keep your body functioning properly.

Although there are many variables that affect caloric requirements there are formulas used to calculate calorie needs. Due to the variables such as metabolic rates, these formulas should be used as a framework in order to have a reference point. Once you have your target caloric intake it is necessary to check whether an increase or decrease is needed. This is done simply by consuming the amount of calories and if there is no change in the desired direction, increases or decreases should be made in order to reach the required amount.

One thing to note is that in order to make a body weight change, a person needs to eat the required calories as if he/she is already at the body weight desired. For example if I want to be 195 pounds, I need to consume the amount of calories that a 195 pound body needs. You may consume relatively high amounts of protein and not see a significant change in body weight desired because calorie surpluses or deficits are what cause weight change.

Here are the formulas

Bodyweight in kilograms for an 18-30 year old male is multiplied by 15.3 and 679 is added to that number.  This number is then multiplied by activity level to give the final estimated daily caloric needs.  The calorie amounts should then be tested with an moderate percentage of calories coming from carbohydrates, protein and fats.  A decent basic split for each of these is a 60% carb, 30% protein, and 10% fat in order to adequately receive necessary amounts of each to fuel the body.  As stated before this is a very simple overview look at calorie requirements. Keep reading for more updates and details on nutrition from myself and our other Bronco Fitness Center trainers. Also visit the Health and Wellness Center on campus to get help on a more detailed dietary plan.

Turo Gamez NSCA-CPT


Earle, Roger W. , and Thomas R. Baechle. NSCA's Essentials of Personal Training. October 27, 2011 ed. ,: Human Kinetics, 2. Print.

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