Finding Your Appropriate Caloric Range

One of the biggest problems people have when starting a new exercise or nutritional program is exactly how much food to eat. Eat too much and you will gain weight. Don’t eat enough and your body will automatically hold onto calories in the form of stored fat. You may be losing weight, but it most likely is muscle and not fat. How do you know how much to eat? It’s enough to drive you crazy, throw your hands in the air, and give up all together.

That being said, there are great resources online that can help you find the exact caloric range you need for your age, height, current weight, and even your activity level. By just inserting a few numbers into an equation, you can finally make sense of how much to eat based on your individual needs. Don’t be shocked if the numbers seem high, most people aren’t consuming enough calories (more on that in another blog) and that is why they can not lose weight.

My favorite calorie range equations are The Katch-McArdle Method and The Harris-Benedict Method. I like The Katch-McArdle a bit better because it takes body fat into account when doing the equation, but both methods are good. Katch-McArdle requires knowing your body fat percentage so if you do not know that number you will need to use The Harris-Benedict Method. Also, if you are extremely muscular or obese, The Katch-McCardle Method will be more exact. Below is a link for each formula:

Calorie Calculator


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