Thank you for landing on this page “How Many Calories Should I Eat A Day” and in today’s article we will discuss exactly how many calories needed in a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You will get in-depth knowledge about calories and how you can manipulate them in a way that it becomes easier for you to achieve your fitness goals or otherwise as a normal lifestyle what should be your calorie intake per day. We will cover both the categories that people ask how many calories I need to lose weight or to gain weight. So let’s get started.
So in this post, I will try my best to make you understand everything about calories so that this post can become the last post in research of how many calories you should be eating in a day to achieve fitness goals.
How Calories Work
In simple terms, calories are a form of energy which our body needs on a daily basis to work properly. Calories play a very important role in the way we look. An average person who is not doing daily exercise, all he is doing is traveling or a slow pace walks in the mornings.
In general, the activity level of the person in the whole day is close to zero. Then his calorie need is probably less because this average person is not using his body for physical and performance activities and not able to burn the number of calories that he is putting in his body, so why should he be consuming more?
At the same time, a person who is physically active, doing intense exercise daily and taking a lot of work from his body. In general, his activity level in the whole day is very high. Then his calories requirement in the whole day is high because this active person has a daily routine set in which he has been successfully able to burn many calories than a normal person.
In short, this is clear that in order to gain weight, lose weight or maintain weight. In all these three case scenarios, you need to manipulate or adjust the daily calorie intake in order to maintain a healthy fitness lifestyle. So a question arises that.
How Many Calories Should I Eat A Day?
This is the most common question which pops up in the mind after knowing that we only need to adjust the calories. So exactly how many calories I need to put up in my body in the whole day. It actually differs according to the activity level that you have in a day which means that:
If you are really inactive:
The calories you need in the whole day is very less, the only physical work you do is just walking around, traveling, shopping etc. You are not performing intense tasks so no need to consume extra and the daily calorie requirement you need is around 2000 calories.
If you are slightly active
The calories you need in the whole day is more because you burning more by doing heavy weight gym workouts, doing cardio on a regular basis then you need close to around 2500-2800 calories in a day.
Lastly, if you are really active
This category is for those who are athletes and train very intensely, long hours training sessions plus cardio running sessions. They need to provide 2800+ calories in a day because the people in this category are burning more than other two categories so they need to be on heavy packed up nutrition full of calories.
Macronutrients Explanation(In Calories)
Now, after understanding that we need to adjust the calorie intake accordingly to the category we belong to. For example, you don’t have any physical movements and belongs to category number one which is for really inactive, so you need 2000 calories to consume daily. And where do that much calories come from? Those calories come from “macronutrients” i.e. protein, carbs, and fats. Let us understand how much calories does each macronutrient contains:
1 gram of protein contains 4 calories which means that if you are consuming 30 grams of protein from a meal. Then, you are consuming 120 calories from only proteins.
1 gram of carbs contains same calories as proteins i.e. 4. So, if you are taking 50 grams of carbs from a meal then, you are consuming 200 calories from carbs.
Now, fats are little different. 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories in total which means if you consume 15 grams of fat from a meal then, you are consuming 135 calories from fats. That’s why you have felt that after consuming a little fat in terms of peanut butter or butter etc, our stomach fills up pretty quick.
So if we take a look to calculate the total calories from a meal which contains:
30g Protein, 50g Carbs, 15g Fats. It comes to a total of 455 calories per meal. That’s how calories are counted per meal. It means, if you are inactive and want to Maintain Current Body Weight, you need to consume 4-5 meals per day, that’s how you can come up with nearly 2200 calories/day.
Calorie Intake To Gain Weight
To gain weight your diet must contain 25 percent proteins, 60 percent of carbs and 15 percent of fats. So, let’s take that you need to gain weight, by weight I mean you need to put on muscle weight.
To build muscle you need to be in the calorie surplus and that surplus you have to create from carbs by 2gm per pound bodyweight.
What that means is for example, if your weight is 150 pounds(68Kg) so, carbs requirement is 150*2=300g and if we divide 300(grams of carbs) with 6(meals a day) so we will get a number 50 as a result which means we need 50 grams of carbs per meal and by taking 6 meals, we can cover 300 grams requirement of carbs per day and that’s how you can go in the caloric surplus.
Don’t get too involved with this stuff if you are a beginner or even an intermediate. This stuff is used by the advanced athletes who have to compete on stage, they calculate the calories in the whole day, from proteins, carbs, and fats.
If we look at a similar question like how much calories I need to lose weight?
To lose weight you need to be in caloric deficit. And that deficit you need to create from the carbohydrates. I am assuming that you need to lose weight in terms of that extra fat, that extra stomach fat or at any other area that you need cut out.
To lose fat, you need carbs 0.5 grams per pound bodyweight. What that means is:
If you weight is 200 pounds(90kg) and you are overweight, then you only need to consume 200*0.5=100g/day. And if we divide 100(grams of carbs) into 4(meals a day), we will get a number 25.
In total, if someone weighs 200 pounds(90kg) then, the person must consume 25g of carbs per meal and take 4 meals a day. The person will lose fat within weeks because of consuming total 100g of carbs and hence be in a calorie deficit. And that’s how you lose weight.
I don’t know that if that makes sense to you and I made a clear understanding of Gaining weight, maintaining weight and losing weight. If it doesn’t then it’s ok because you don’t need to study each and everything in detail because it’s a job of a nutritionist to figure out the numbers and make a diet which specifically targets a specified fitness goal.
If you think too much like you need to increase the cories intake to gain weight, you most probably will be staying busy counting calories, but rather what you have to do is to focus on eating the right food and more food.
I explained it in the above just so that you can have an understanding backed by science and how things work. If you have the stuff clear from the above, that’s great. But if the above stuff feels like a bouncer from the head, I am making it more simple from now for a better understanding. Here we go!
Let me clear some things on the board. If you are a beginner or an intermediate, you don’t need to care about how many calories in, how much calories I need to lose weight etc. All you have to be focusing is on eating good food which has high nutritional value.
Let me say it again that, do not bother about exact calories. How many calories in this food or that food because it will make you in a mindset of overthinking which is not at all good. In my experience whenever I make picky decisions about my food and measure each and everything, my health starts to fall down and my results start to fade off.
Rather, what you can do is, you can estimate an overview of everything. So if we go back to the question of how can we lose weight. We know that to lose weight we need to be in a calorie deficit by 500 calories. What you can do is, you can have 4 meals in a day instead of consuming 5. That will make everything equal.
But one thing I want to tell you that if your body comes to caloric surplus and then if you are not training it hard enough in the gym to utilize that extra energy. Guess what will happen then, you will indirectly giving a signal to your body to put on fat weight. Because then your body will have no choice to utilize that extra energy or calories. Where to store that energy and later it will end up storing it as a fat. Keep that up in mind.
So, to conclude everything on the table that I just spread. If you will use the calorie concept in a wrong way, you will not look like something this,
because your body comes in the category of Ectomorph and that’s why you are skinny, but, here’s the possibility. If you consume more calories for just the sake of consuming food, you will become skinny fat, who do not have any fat on the body but only have fat on the stomach like this.
For which people go to the gym just to lose the fat who are overweight basically.
The best is always to eat the right food with some added micronutrients(can add supplements if you unable to complete nutrition from the diet) and with a fiber-rich diet which is like around 25-30+ grams of fiber per day, 5 grams per meal and you’re good to go on the route to become a person who will start to gain weight within weeks.
And if you overlook things as I did in my past i.e. looking for supplements or a need to add some weight gainer shakes. You can check out my 4 months experience with before closing any purchase online or anywhere.
That’s it guys, I hope you find value in the content above and if you learned something new then, make sure to smash that share button so that it can reach as many people as possible and we will be able to create a loyal community of “Fitness Lovers”.
In the end, thanks for giving this article “How Many Calories Should I Eat A Day” a sweet read.
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