How Many Calories Should You Eat Per Day?

June 25, 2021

How Many Calories Should You Eat Per Day?

That’s a question we hear a lot at the personal training studio here in Richmond, BC. The correct answer, of course, depends on several variables, and we’re going to look at the different factors in this article.


How Do Calories Work?

Let’s start with the basics here.

First up, a calorie is a unit of measurement concerned with energy. Way back in 1863, scientists defined a calorie by the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a single kilogram of water from zero to one degree Celsius – but that’s not the way we think about calories day-to-day.

For scientists, energy comes from multiple sources, like burning gas or coal in a power station. We’re more interested in our internal engines and how much food it takes to power our bodies on a daily basis. Our energy comes from proteins, carbs, various fats, and sugars. That’s all measured with calories – so, how many do we need to function?

How Men and Women Burn Calories Differently

Men and women don’t just look different; the way we function and the number of calories we burn are different, too.

Physically active females under fifty years old need around 1,750 calories each day to maintain a healthy weight under normal conditions – which basically means if they’re not working out every 24-hours.

Physically active men in the same age bracket, on the other hand, require more like 2,250 calories each day to maintain a healthy body weight when they’re not performing strenuous exercise or working out regularly.

Now, these are just average values. Let’s face it – every person, lifestyle, fitness level, and body is different. Still, it’s helpful to remember that men and women both calculate calories from differing baselines. As personal trainers, one of the first things we consider is gender, and that’s the same if you’re attempting to work out your own nutritional requirements.

Thinking Like a Personal Trainer: What’s Your Fitness Goal?

Next, you’ll need to consider what your immediate and ultimate fitness goals are. You need a different number of calories if you’re visiting gyms in Richmond BC, regularly and bulking up, for instance, then if you’re just looking to lose weight and get into trim. This is about whether you’re looking to put weight on or take the weight off.

In order to get to your required daily calorie amount, you first need to define that gender-dependent average figure above to suit your precise physical self, your activity levels, and your fitness goals. Then you’ll know the intake needed to maintain the status quo, so you can develop a deeper understanding from there.

If you attend a personal training studio or talk to anyone working as a professional personal trainer, they’ll tell you this is the next stage in working out a personalized, tailored dietary plan.

Here are several variables that define your maintenance calorie requirements:

·   Your age matters.

·   Your body fat percentage is crucial.

·   Your height and weight are important factors.

In addition to the above, how many calories you burn per day also needs to be calculated. That’s known as your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). Your TDEE depends very much on your activity levels, and in the realm of fitness and personal training studios, gyms, and the like, it’s about whether you’re an athlete, a bodybuilder, or whether you just want to work out to stay lean and fit.

What you do for a living will also affect your TDEE. Two guys who lift the same weights the same number of times a week at the same gym might have two differing calorie requirements if one works behind a desk and the other is employed in construction.

Visit a Personal Trainer in Richmond, BC

The simplest and most accurate way to find out your own calorie needs is to visit a personal training studio. Despite the fact the industry tends to talk about average requirements, a personal trainer can dial in your plan based on your specific physiology, activity, goals, and preferences.

If you’re based in or around Richmond, BC, drop into BLK BOX Gym. We believe everyone’s fitness goal is unique, and we want to help each individual make the most out of their fitness journey, whether they’re just starting out or have been at it for years.

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Written by

Ken Lu

Ken has a Bachelor's Degree of Psychology from the University of British Columbia, specializing in Sport Psychology. As well as being a Certified Personal Trainer, Ken is also a Movement & Mobility Specialist, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He has trained for and won the 2018 NPAA BC Men's Physique Championship.