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What's my daily caloric requirement?

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  • What's my daily caloric requirement?

    Hello folks. Can someone estimate what my caloric requirement is, I am:

    43 years old
    175 lbs
    About 18% BF (very approx)
    Doing weights a couple of times a week
    Doing sprints once/twice a week.
    Prob eat <50g carbs a day. Though do a bit of wine.
    Sitting on my arse the rest of the time.

    I want to experiment eating up to a certain amount of calories and seeing what happens to my fat levels.

    Thanks if you can help.

  • #2
    Well, using a BMR calculator, based on conventional wisdom, your Basal Metabolic Rate should be around 1765, assuming you're male. If you are lightly active, then your daily calories to maintain your current weight comes to: 2427.

    Trying to figure this out for primal eating is...more subjective. I still haven't figured it out for myself yet, but I know that CW guidelines don't help me lose weight. I need to eat below my BMR for any weight loss, even eating only 30 - 70 carbs per day.


    • #3
      Try this calculator:

      IF Calculator

      It's from Martin Berkhan's leangains site, and has a bunch of different options for creating a calorie deficit.


      • #4
        In my opinion,
        I'm 15 years old, 6'2" and active.
        When I fill in this information (even when I select "extremely active") AND I select that I want to gain a pound a week, calculators give me an advice to eat about 3200 calories a day. I did this, and lost about a pound a week.

        Here's what I think you should do and I will give you an example.
        Weigh yourself. Say you weigh 175 lbs like you.
        Count calories accurately for 30 days. And calculate the average calories you consumed each day. Say this is 2000
        Weigh yourself after 30 days. Say you weigh 180 lbs. you gained 5 lbs
        So, assuming 3500 excess calories make you gain a pound (I havent done research if this is bullshit or not, but let's say it's true); you ate 17500 excess calories over the course of 30 days. Divide 17500 by 30. This = 584. This is how much calories you ate in excess each day. And you ate 2000 calories a day. 2000-584=1486=your maintenance amount of calories.

        This is an exmample, I don't think your maintenance is that low
        Last edited by Gadsie; 07-11-2012, 10:29 AM.
        well then


        • #5
          CavemanCoder - I'm 46, 5'11, 168lbs. I went from 250 to 168 in just under a year. I had to continually reduce calories to keep the weight loss going, starting at like 3000 calories and ending at around 1500. I have maintained my weight by eating between 1500-2500 calories a day. I walk 3-5 miles a day and do heavy lifting and sprinting a couple times a week.

          Counting calories is very fatiguing and stressful. I have gotten it down to rarely counting calories, every now and then I'll plug a day into FitDay just for curiosity and to see how my vitamins/micros are looking.

          But from a pure calorie standpoint, I'd say you'll need about 2000 a day to maintain.


          • #6
            Some helpful stuff there guys many thanks. Im not going to get OCD over the calories I was just interested in a ball park. 2000 calories is fine for me - just so long as they're from fatty meat/eggs as I need satiety, Im not going hungry! Thanks again.


            • #7
              If you are really interested in answering this question, I highly, highly recommend to take the time to read Gary Taubes' book GOOD CALORIES, BAD CALORIES. It's more time-consuming (and more in-depth) than WHY WE GET FAT, but it talks very clearly and scientifically about why calories-in/calories-out is not important when talking about weight loss.

              I will try and paraphrase they key points below:

              - A common fallacy is that you burn the same number of calories each day. It's pretty easy, I think, to see why this is false. Are more or less active today than you were yesterday? Did you have to move some heavy boxes at work? Did you spend a little more time in the gym? A little more time watching TV? Did you get up from your desk more or less frequently today? Was your body a degree warmer than normal? A degree cooler? Was it working harder to repair cells? Did you excrete more waste? Did you move more? Fidget more? Did you not feel like doing anything? Did you have a lot of energy? All of these have to do with how much energy you are burning in a given day. It does not seem likely that you could accurately estimate how many calories you need in a given day with any kind of accuracy.

              - The CW on calories-in/calories-out assumes that the variables in the equation ∆E = Ei-Eo (change in fat = energy in minus energy out) are independent, and that causality runs from the right of the equation to the left (that is to say, that Ei-Eo CONTROLS ∆E). But, in fact, the opposite is true: ∆E CONTROLS how your body handles Ei and Eo. Your body is trying to keep your fat stores at a certain place based on internal regulation controlled by your hormones and then adjusts Ei (by making you hungry) and Eo (by making you energetic or tired) as appropriate. In simple terms, we don't get fat because we eat more; we eat more because we are fat.

              - An example: when a 10-year old grows and starts eating a ton, no one thinks "oh, he's growing because he's eating too much." Rather, it's said "He's a growing boy, hormones are making him grow, and that is leading him to eat more." Why would it be different when growing horizontally?

              All this to say:

              - I don't think you *can* actually estimate your caloric needs with any kind of real accuracy
              - Your body will adjust to whatever you take in as cued by your hormones. If lots of insulin is present, your body will cue the storage of fat and impede the release of energy from your existing fat stores. If insulin isn't present, your body will store less fat, and release energy from the fat you already have stored.
              - Key point: if you increase your calories, but your body is not getting the signal to store fat, it will find other uses for that energy to keep you in balance: it will give you more energy, raise your temperature, increase cell turn-over and repair, create more excrement, etc.

              I really recommend you read the book.
              “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea” -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery


              • #8
                Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
                Try this calculator:

                IF Calculator
                That's really neat!


                • #9
                  I like Fitday. You input your current size, weight, height, age, etc., and then tell it how much you want to lose and by when and it will tell you how many calories you need to consume. It does go by the calories in/calories out. I firmly believe that you do have to operate in a deficit if you are going to lose weight and I've lost 40 pounds so far with that mind set. Fitday does have different activity levels, such as mostly sedentary or sitting on your a$$ all day (okay, not exactly phrased like that, but close) and then it has a section where you can input additional exercise, etc. It's worth looking at if nothing else than for comparison's sake with some of the other suggestions that have been given.


                  • #10
                    Thanks all. Rosencrantz, many thanks for such a detailed reply. I really appreciate it. My journey to Primal and MDA, which has seen me get into the best shape for 20 years, went along this route: Wheat Belly... Why We Get Fat... Arthur Devany... MDA. I found WWGF such an eye opener. The only reason I haven't read GCBC is because I consume my books as audiobooks and GCBC isn't available on yet. Might get it for the Kindle tho. Anyway I have been on <50g carbs for a month or so, and I think I have finally found the silver bullet of fat loss for me... stop drinking all that bloody wine!


                    • #11
                      The wine might be a piece of it, if you are indeed drinking a fair amount. The issue there, as I understand it, is that calories from alcohol are burned preferentially. This means that any calories you take in from wine will be used first, sidelining the burning of other ingested calories or stored calories (i.e., fat).

                      I don't remember what you posted regarding dairy consumption, but you might also reconsider your approach to that. Everyone seems to have a different response to it, but I think it's generally accepted that dairy creates a surprisingly strong insulin response and, on top of that, there's no real reason one would need dairy, so it might be another place to check.

                      The final thing I'll say is that, while it's generally talked about that someone who carries a lot of extra fat is unhealthy, it probably bears repeating that very *low* fat isn't really healthy either. In other words, part of your journey might be accepting where your body wants to fall in terms of composition once your metabolism is working properly.
                      “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea” -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery