How many calories should you consume daily? Are you trying to lose weight, gain weight or just maintain your current weight? Depending on your answer there’s a formula to help you figure out the right number.
When trying to lose weight, many women will cut calories drastically, which isn’t the answer. They end up starving themselves, thinking less food will equal pounds dropped. The numbers on the scale might go down at first, but then they stop.
It’s important to remember that your body is like a machine that needs fuel to keep running. If steady fuel isn’t coming in, it will stop burning calories, which equals no weight loss.
I’ve used this formula in the past to gain weight and to maintain my weight. It’s geared toward people who are physically active daily.
To lose weight: 12 calories x body weight (i.e. 12 x 135 = 1,620 calories per day)
To maintain weight: 15 calories x body weight
To gain weight: 18 calories x body weight
You can also use the following formula to determine how much cardio exercise you need:
To lose weight: 250-300 minutes per week
To maintain weight: 150-250 minutes per week
To maintain cardio health: 3-5 times a week, 20-60 minutes
Southern States Championships top contender Melissa Transou, a figure competitor, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports nutrition needs of female athletes exclusively for Vitacost.com.