By: Chef Nate
What is calorie?
A calorie is simply a unit of energy. It is defined as the quantity of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree centigrade at sea-level atmospheric pressure.
We get calories from the food we eat. We consume food, and the chemical processes that make up our metabolic machine allows us to do everything from breathing to running marathon. It’s sort of like putting fuel into a car; you have to put fuel into make the car run. This is exactly the case with people and food. Food is our fuel .We consume calories so that we will have something to burn. It is these fuel calories that make us run.
Calories are a measure of the amount of energy in food. Knowing how many calories are in our food can help us to balance the energy we put into our bodies with the energy we use. That’s the key to a healthy weight.
Active men ages 19 and older need an average of 2,400 to 3,000 calories per day to maintain a healthy body weight, according to the USDA. Active older men require fewer calories than younger men who lead the same type of active lifestyle. Male athletes who engage in vigorous physical activity, especially endurance sports, more than the average active man can require more than 3,000 calories per day. Iowa State University’s Estimated Calorie Needs Calculator, which uses the Mifflin Equation, can help determine your individualized calorie needs based on your specific workout regimen.
If you are an active woman between the ages of 19 and 30, you should consume 2,400 calories and 270 to 390 grams of carbohydrates per day. Women between the ages of 31 and 50 need slightly less, requiring 2,200 calories and 247.5 and 357.5 grams of carbohydrates each day. After the age of 50, active women should eat between 2,000 and 2,200 calories and 225 to 357.5 grams of carbohydrates each day. As these are only general guidelines, they may not meet your needs if you are extremely active. To avoid unwanted weight loss and a decline in performance, consult with a dietitian to determine calorie and carbohydrate intakes that meet your daily energy needs.
Moderately Active Men
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 estimates that the average moderately active man needs 2,200 to 2,800 calories each day to maintain a healthy body weight. A moderately active man is someone who exercises at a level equivalent to walking one and a half to three miles per day, in addition to routine day-to-day activities.
Moderately Active Women
Moderately active women between the ages of 19 and 30 should try to eat 2,000 to 2,200 calories per day. As carbohydrates should account for 900 to 1,430 of these calories, you should eat 225 to 357.5 grams of carbs each day. If you are between the ages of 31 and 50, these values decrease to 2,000 calories and between 225 and 325 grams of carbs every day. After the age of 50, these values decrease again to 1,800 calories and 202.5 to 292.5 grams of carbohydrates.
Average sedentary men need 2,000 to 2,600 calories per day, according to the USDA. More specifically, sedentary men ages 19 to 30 need 2,400 to 2,600 calories; 31- to 50-year-old men require 2,200 to 2,400 calories; and sedentary men over the age of 50 need 2,000 to 2,200 calories each day to maintain a healthy body weight.
Sedentary women between the ages of 19 and 30 should consume between 1,800 and 2,000 calories per day. Carbohydrates should account for 810 to 1,300 of your calories each day. As there are 4 calories in 1 gram of carbohydrates, this amounts to 202.5 to 325 grams of carbohydrates per day. If you are between the ages of 31 and 50, you should consume 1,800 calories per day and 202.5 to 292.5 grams of carbohydrates. If you are over the age of 50, you should consume 1,600 calories and 180 to 260 grams of carbohydrates each day.