## How to Calculate Calories Required in a Day by Physical Activity and Age

A unit of measurement of the energy contained in foods, a calorie is defined as the fuel of the body that helps in performing various activities of day-to-day life. The more activities we participate in, the more calories are used by the body. Hence, every person requires a different amount of calories depending upon factors such as age, gender, weight, height, and daily physical activity.

The key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is striking the correct balance between required calorie intake and the energy released every day. The most efficient way to ensure to avoid consuming excessive calories is to get in tune with the body and identify its signs while having a meal. For example, one can take a pause upon slowly eating half the meal to give the body a chance to digest the food and feel comfortably full.

Based on the attributes of an individual’s age and daily physical activity, the estimated calorie need is categorized into three different lifestyles:

• Sedentary Lifestyle

This kind of lifestyle involves the minimum physical activity of independent living. They just perform the activities necessary in daily life such as bathing, cooking, etc.

The following table depicts the calories required per day for people with a sedentary lifestyle.

 Age (in years) Calories Required Female Male 2-3 1000 1000 4-8 1200 1400 9-13 1600 1800 14-18 1800 2200 19-30 2000 2400 31-50 1800 2200 51+ 1600 2000

• Moderately Active Lifestyle

This lifestyle corresponds to doing physical activity equivalent to walking quickly between 1.5 and 3 miles (about 30–40 minutes) every day. In addition to it, the person also does light activity associated needed for typical day-to-day life.

The following table represents the required calorie intake for people with somewhat active/ moderately active lifestyle.

 Age (in years) Calories Required Female Male 2-3 1000-1400 1000-1400 4-8 1400-1600 1400-1600 9-13 1600-2000 1800-2200 14-18 2000 2400-2800 19-30 2000-2200 2600-2800 31-50 2000 2400-2600 51+ 1800 2200-2400

• Active Lifestyle

An active lifestyle is where the daily routine of a person includes doing physical activity equivalent to walking quickly for more than 3 miles daily (more than 40 minutes). Light physical activity associated with typical day-to-day life is also carried out by the person additionally.

The following table depicts the calories required per day for people with an active lifestyle.

 Age (in years) Calories Required Female Male 2-3 1000-1400 1000-1400 4-8 1400-1800 1600-2000 9-13 1800-2200 2000-2600 14-18 2400 2800-3200 19-30 2400 3000 31-50 2200 2800-3000 51+ 2000-2200 2400-2800

Special note: In the case of pregnant or breastfeeding women, the required calorie intake might be more than the usual, as depicted in the tables above. The concerned health care provider must be consulted to know about the proper nutrition requirements during that period.

Conclusion

Proper knowledge about your required calorie intake each day is crucial for losing, gaining, or maintaining weight, which in turn affects your health and lifestyle. A registered dietitian nutritionist can help you develop a healthy diet chart that balances your daily calorie consumption as per your current lifestyle while taking care of your taste preferences as well.

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