For many people maintaining normal body weight is a real problem. Nowadays, obesity is very common, and it takes even epidemic proportions. Maintaining optimal body weight is a major factor in maintaining the health of the body.
Being overweight is a risk factor for the occurrence of many diseases such as chronic cardiovascular and metabolic diseases (hypertension, elevated fat, Diabetes, diseases of the heart and brain blood vessels, which can lead to the occurrence of heart attack or stroke attack).
Obesity is considered as a risk factor for the occurrence of certain cancers.
Often obesity is the result of improper diet or intake of greater amount of calories than the body needs. As a result, the excess calories are stored as fat.
Yet, if you want to allow your body to function normally, i.e. to perform everyday basic life functions, you will need a certain amount of calories. We have to enter a certain amount of calories in the body every day.
The body needs them for energy. Calories are found in food. A healthy diet will help your body get enough calories, but still the amount of calories needs to remain below the level that could cause weight gain.
The recommended daily intake of calories varies from person to person, but there are certain recommendations on how many calories we need.
On average, to maintain their normal body weight, women need about 1,500 calories a day and men about 2200 calories. But these figures apply only to adults who deal with little physical activity.
Many physically active people cannot live on 2,000 calories a day. That would be starvation for the body.
The factors that influence the individual calorie needs include: age, height and weight, average daily physical activity and body building.
Counting calories will help you maintain normal body weight, and weight loss or reduction of obesity.
Calorie intake should be kept at a lower level than the amount of calories we spend a day, if we want to reduce weight. If we have an unhealthy diet, we are left with excess calories that do not burn.
Then, the excess energy turns into fatty tissue. The excess calories that the body does not exploit are being stored as fat.
A general rule is that if you enter 500 calories less than you need a day, you will lose about half a kilogram of your weight per week. How many calories you need depends on valid lifestyle and other factors.
There are various methods for determining the daily caloric needs. One of the methods for determining the daily caloric needs is the relatively precise Harris-Benedict –This is mathematical equation that includes body height, weight, age and gender. But here we will give a simpler example.
Usually in women the need for calories can be relatively accurately calculated with using the two calorie components, and they are: the basal metabolism (BMR — Basal Metabolic Rate) and physical activity.
Most of us know that weight depends on the equation of energy balance: the amount of energy that we enter in the body (calories from food) in ratio with the amount of energy that is wasted (activity).
How do you know how much calories you need to enter in the body in order to maintain optimal weight?
With this simple formula you can calculate your daily need of calories.
For maintaining the basal metabolism you will need about 1 calorie per kilogram body weight per hour. If you multiply your weight in kilograms by 24 hours, you will get the amount of calories that you need on a daily basis in order to to maintain the basic life functions such as breathing, heart rate, etc. Now we need to calculate the factor of activity.
Multiply your daily need for calories with the following numbers:
- For low physical activity (people who have very little or no exercise) = BMR x 1.2
- For light physical activity (training 2 times per week) = BMR x 1.375
- For moderate physical activity (exercise 4 times a week) = BMR x 1.5
- For exercise most days = BMR x 1.75
- The intense physical activity (professional athletes, physical workers …) =BMR x 2
If you want to burn more calories you must either import less in the body or increase your physical activity.