Do you know how many calories you should consume each day for your silhouette and health not to be affected?
Are the standard recommendations of nutritionists valid for everyone? How are calculated the daily needs of each person?
Of course, the number of calories a person needs, is calculated based on several factors: sex, age, height, body type, lifestyle and overall health.
For example, a young person, aged 25 years, who is 1.80 m tall and leading an active life needs a considerably higher intake of calories compared to a 60 year-old man who is 1.70 m tall and leads a quiet life. The country of origin is equally important, according to nutritional recommendations. For example, a man who lives in the UK needs 2500 calories and a woman who lives here needs 2000 calories.
Also, nutritionists recommend men in the United States to consume 2,700 calories a day, and women 2,200 calories.
According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States, an adult should consume, on average 1800 calories a day, regardless of gender or nature of daily activity.
The clear difference between calories and kilocalories, kilojoules
If you plan to follow a diet based on daily calorie counting, pay attention to the confusion created between calories, kilojoules (kj) and kilocalories (kcal). On some products is not displayed the number of calories, but the amount of kilocalories, so you have to note that 1 kcal is worth 1,000 calories.
A kilocalories signifies the amount of energy that is needed to raise the temperature of a quantity of water. Kilojoules represent the energy the food provides, 1 kcal being worth 4,184 kj.
It is clear that the human body needs energy to function, so 20% of the energy we have throughout the day, goes directly to the brain. The remaining energy is used for metabolic processes, including the idle state or for when we sleep, for breathing and circulation.
Also, there is the mechanical energy that is vital for the skeleton and for the muscles, in order to perform movements. During the cold season, the metabolic rate increases to produce more heat and maintain a constant body temperature. Therefore, you need a higher caloric intake. Hence the fact that in the summer months, the body consumes much less, and therefore the need to eat less.
The quality of the calories
The calorie quality is determined by their origin and this is very important for the good functioning of the human body. Thus, the quality of the calories is essential for efficient energy conversion, which comes from foods consumed throughout the day, in muscle strength.
So, the super processed foods, refined sweets, junk food, have a great number of calories, but are called “empty calories” because they don’t bring a high energy intake, since they are low in nutrients.
How many calories we need each day?
According to experts, to determine the number of calories that a person needs each day, it is necessary to estimate the basal metabolic rate. Step two consists in multiplying this value with a number that represents the level of physical activity practiced. The result consists of recommended daily calories for the person concerned. Of course, this formula has some limitations, since it doesn’t take into account the fat-lean ration.