How Many Calories Do You Need?

Calories are an infamous word in the fitness community. Should you be increasing, decreasing, or maintaining your calories? It all depends on what goals you have and what final vision you see for yourself. Calorie counting can be a slippery slope, if you have a history of eating disorders or fixations with food you should approach calorie counting with caution or forgo this method entirely. To see next level results, you may want to consider counting calories. There are average numbers for what calories you should consume depending on your gender, height, lifestyle, and current weight.

Your activity levels can range from sedentary, lightly active, moderately active, very active, or extremely active. If you have a job that requires you to move and lift often, take that into consideration. There are many online calorie calculators that can assist you in figuring out how much calories you should consume for losing, maintaining, or gaining weight.

What your lifestyle type?
- Sedentary: little or zero exercise
- Light Activity: 1 to 3 days light exercise
- Moderate Activity: 3 to 5 days of moderate exercise
- Very Active: 6 to 7 days of hard exercise
- Extra Active: 6 to 7 days of intensive exercise

1. Weight Loss
If you want to lose weight, you need to undercut your daily caloric intake. You should reduce your caloric intake by roughly 500 calories. It can be more or less depending on your desired results.

2. Maintain
Maintenance simply means you want to remain at your current body composition. You want to sustain your weight so you will not be adding or reducing calories significantly. Contrary to the other two methods, your weight should stay within the same range.

3. Gain Weight
Generally, the rule to gain weight is to eat more calories than you burn. If you want to do a safe and steady method, increase your caloric intake by 300 to 500 calories extra per day.

The quality of the food your intake is very important. You should be looking for whole and nutrient rich foods to fuel your body. It’s better to approach weight gain, loss, or maintenance as a healthy lifestyle change rather than phases of extreme caloric restriction. Swipe out the empty calories for better options.