# How Many Calories Do You Need?

Calories...You count them and cut them! But...You have to eat fewer or burn more!

Calculate your required daily caloric intake to maintain good health.

### Physical Activity

In order for the calculation to be correct, you need to determine the type and amount of activity you do each week.

Sedentary means you are inactive.

Moderately active means you do some type of aerobic fitness 3 times a week.

Active means you do some type of aerobic fitness 5 or more times a week.

### Calculating Calories Needed Daily

This is based on the results of combining your basal metabolic rate, energy expended during physical activity, and the thermic effect of food.

A simple process to estimate the amount you need follows:

• If you are sedentary (inactive), multiply your current weight by 14.
• If you are moderately active, multiply your current weight by 17.
• If you are active, multiply your current weight by 20.

Example: Weight 160 lbs x 17 = 2,720. You would need to consume 2,720 to maintain your current weight. That is if you're moderately active.

This would be the amount you need daily to maintain your current weight.

If you are trying to lose weight, it's beneficial to reduce your caloric intake by 300 to 500 calories per day. This will allow for a weight loss of 2 to 3 pounds per week. That may seem like a slow way to go, but it's definitely the healthiest way.

Foods consist of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The caloric count is listed below:

• 1 gram Carbohydrates = 4 calories
• 1 gram Protein = 4 calories
• 1 gram Fat = 9 calories

A calorie is a unit that measures the energy in the foods you eat. To maintain your weight you have to consume about the same amount of calories you burn. To gain weight you would need to consume more calories than you burn. To lose weight you would need to eat fewer calories than you burn.

### Calorie Chart

This chart gives you food and beverage caloric counts. Download the USDA Calorie chart PDF file.
After you click on the link, you can click on File, Save as, and save it to your hard drive. You can also print it out for reference.

## Burning Calories

You actually burn calories all the time, whether you are exercising or not. Your body burns them through the metabolic processes. Enzymes break the carbohydrates down into glucose and other sugars. Fats are broken into fatty acids. Protein is broken down into amino acids.

The fact is you burn calories faster if you are exercising or doing something highly active. You can burn more in the simple things you do each day. Take a few extra steps and try some of the following:

Changing TV Channels
Instead of using the remote get up and change the channel.

Take The Stairs
Don't use the elevator or escalator, take the stairs. If you have a stairway at home, make some extra trips each day.

Park your car further away from your work or in the shopping mall and walk those extra steps.

Shopping
You need a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk. If you have a local market, walk to it instead of driving.

Television
Instead of watching the television all evening, take time to get out for a walk, or do some gardening. Get physical!

Coffee Break Time
Make that "take a walk time." Go out and get some fresh air, and enjoy the environment.

Increasing your activity is a matter of choice. You can sit or stand, walk or ride, walk more or walk less. Doing simple activities add up fast.

Take a close look at your daily routine. Try to plan ahead and change the things you can to take extra steps. Using more energy through every day activities helps shed pounds quickly.