How much can i eat each day

What is my daily calorie requirement?

Table of Contents

  1. How Many Calories Per Day Should You Consume?
  2. What is the daily calorie requirement?
    1. Basal metabolic rate
    2. Performance turnover
  3. How to calculate your required calories per day
  4. Counting calories - useful or not? Expert live talk on video
  5. Five strategies to save extra calories
    1. Eat high in protein
    2. Avoid sugary soft drinks and juices
    3. Drink plenty of water
    4. Do endurance and weight training
    5. Avoid unhealthy snacks
  6. Knowledge to take away

How Many Calories Per Day Should You Consume?

Calories or kilocalories are actually the outdated unit of measurement for the energy that our body burns every day and that we take in again through food in the form of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

The nutrients in carbohydrates and the like are broken down and used in the digestive tract. This releases energy, which we measure in kilojoules (kJ) or kilocalories (kcal).

One kilocalorie is equivalent to 4.18 kilojoules. In the scientific field, the kilocalorie has long been replaced by the joule, but in everyday life we ​​still use the unit of measurement, kilocalories.

Roughly, men should be around 50 years old 2000 kilocalories per day and women about 1800 kilocalories.

In theory, this means for successful weight loss that you simply have to consume fewer kilocalories per day than you consume and the pounds drop off.

What is the daily calorie requirement?

The daily calorie requirement of a person is made up of the basal metabolic rate and the performance metabolic rate. These result in the energy turnover and thus approximately the kilocalories that our body burns per day and therefore also needs.

Basal metabolic rate:

The basal metabolic rate, or basal metabolic rate, is the amount of energy that the body needs in complete rest, at a room temperature of 28 degrees Celsius and on an empty stomach to maintain all vital functions.

The basal metabolic rate is heavily dependent on gender, age, height and body type.

Women generally have a lower basal metabolic rate than men because they have a lower percentage of muscle mass in relation to fat mass. The basal metabolic rate is given in calories per day (i.e. 24 hours).

Basal metabolic rate = 1 kilocalorie (for men 1.1) x body weight (in kg) x 24

Click here for the basal metabolic rate calculator >>>

Service turnover:

The performance metabolism describes the energy consumption of physical activities and processes that take place in addition to the basal metabolic rate.

This includes all muscle activity (for example when walking or sitting), the energy for growth in children and adolescents, the digestive activities of our body and the energy we use to regulate our body heat.

The performance turnover is in PAL (physical activity level) and is defined for all types of work and sports.

In addition to the daily calorie requirement, there is also theBody mass index (BMI) a useful metric to help you lose weight.

Of course, you don't lose weight because you know how many calories you need or what your body mass index is.

But it can't hurt to roughly know your own calorie requirement and BMI and thus develop a feeling for how many calories you can or should be consuming.

In this sense, one also speaks of the calorie balance. Dr. Niels Schulz-Ruhtenberg explains this as follows:“In general, it means the relationship between the calories that you take in through eating and drinking and the calories that you consume, which the body burns again, and converts into heat and energy. The relationship between this is the calorie balance, which can be positive or negative. "

The daily calorie requirement is approximately calculated from the basal metabolic rate and the performance metabolic rate.

How to calculate your required calories per day:

As already mentioned, the daily calorie consumption is made up of the basal metabolic rate and the performance metabolic rate. There are also variables such as your gender, weight, age and height in centimeters.

Approximately calculate your basal metabolic rate using the following formula for Men: Basal metabolic rate = body weight (kg) * 24
and the formula for Women: Basal metabolic rate = 0.9 * body weight (kg) * 24.

In addition, there is now the output, i.e. everything that we need beyond our amount of energy for vital processes in the body. The power turnover is defined for all physical activity and, as already mentioned, is specified in PAL (physical activity level).

In the following table you will find the defined values ​​for different levels of physical activity according to the DGE (German Society for Nutrition):

Physical activity per dayPAL value
Frail, immobile, bedridden people (exclusively sedentary or recumbent lifestyle)1,2- 1,3
Office workers, precision mechanics (exclusively sedentary work with little or no strenuous leisure activity)1,4- 1,5
Laboratory technicians, students, assembly line workers, teachers (sedentary work, occasionally additional energy expenditure for walking and standing activities, little or no strenuous leisure activity)1,6- 1,7
Salespeople, waiters, mechanics, craftsmen (mostly walking and standing work)1,8- 1,9
Construction workers, farmers, forest workers, miners, competitive athletes (physically demanding professional work or very active leisure activities)2,0- 2,4

So to calculate your calorie consumption, multiply your basal metabolic rate by the PAL value that corresponds to your daily physical activity. For example, suppose that a man with a basal metabolic rate of 2040 kilocalories is an office worker, his actual need would be 2856 calories per day (2040 * 1.4 = 2856).

However, this calculation method does not include age and weight, metabolism and personal eating habits, as well as other physical and psychological factors. In addition, it does not work for women who are forced to gain slight weight due to pregnancy and who therefore have an increased intake of energy.

The University of Hohenheim offers a calorie calculator for anyone who would like to determine their calorie requirement even more precisely. If that's not enough, you should have your calorie consumption calculated by a specialist, this is usually done with the help of indirect calorimetry.

Editor's tip:Foodspring also offers a body check. All you have to do is answer a few questions and then you will receive your personal BMI analysis (Body Mass Index) and a recommendation on nutrition and exercise:

to the body check

When calculating the daily calorie consumption, variables such as gender, weight, age and height in centimeters play an important role.

Counting calories - useful or not? Expert live talk with Dr. Niels Schulz-Ruhtenberg

As part of the Instagram live series "Expert Talk", we talked to Dr. Niels Schulz-Ruhtenberg spoke about the most common questions from the community on the subject of "counting calories". How dangerous is a deficit? Does counting calories make sense to lose weight? The expert answers these and many other questions in this video:

Five strategies to help you save extra calories each day:

Eat fewer calories than you take in and the pounds are already falling? Unfortunately, that's not all.

If you only pay attention to the calorie content of the food and just eat less, but still mainly eat fat, sugar and ready-made meals, you will not be successful in the long run.

In order to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way, it is important to eat a balanced, nutritious diet and drink a lot. You can also count calories while doing this, if you want. Dr. Niels Schulz-Ruhtenberg believes that everyone should try calorie counting individually. It is important to always stay relaxed, "Because stress makes you fat and stress is one of the most important brakes on weight loss." You can find out how you can also save a few calories a day here:

1. Eat high in protein:

Eating high in protein also helps save calories. The cause lies in what is known as food-induced thermogenesis. This effect represents the energy consumption that occurs during the digestion, storage and transport of food. The great thing: With protein, the thermal effect is a lot higher than with carbohydrates or fat.

Dr. Niels Schulz-Ruhtenberg:"Protein is important because it [...] is an essential building material. The essential amino acids are substances that we absolutely need. Protein has the best saturation of all nutrients - this is of course very important if you want to feel good and be full. "

In addition to the extra kilocalories that are burned, protein-rich food also helps counteract the breakdown of muscle mass and keep the metabolism going. As a result, you lose more fat than muscle and keep your new weight easier (1).

2. Avoid sugary soft drinks and juices

Have a quick coke or a delicious juice spritzer for lunch, there's nothing there, right? Unfortunately wrong, because soft drinks and ready-mixed spritzers contain a lot of sugar.

Avoid so-called diet sodas, too. The artificial sweeteners trick the body into thinking that it is now being supplied with calories, but then does not trigger a feeling of satiety. This increases the risk of food cravings and can promote obesity in the long term.

Try to drink water most of all. If pure water is too boring for you, then try spicing it up with fresh mint, sour limes or healthy ginger (2).

3. Drink plenty of water:

Simple but true: water does not contain any calories, but it consumes some when it is drunk. "Even drinking 1.5 to 2 liters of drinking water a day can increase the energy expenditure even in overweight people by up to 100 kilocalories", says Dr. Michael Boschmann from Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin (3).

To increase this effect, it is best to drink cold water. The body first has to warm it up to body temperature and it burns additional calories. Drinking abundantly not only boosts energy expenditure, but also supports digestion, prevents headaches due to dehydration and gets the metabolism going.

But how much water should you actually be drinking? The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends consuming around 2.7 liters of water a day, around 1.5 liters of which through drinks.

If you drink extra water 30 minutes before you eat, also eat less because you feel fuller.

If you want to lose weight, in addition to water, black coffee without milk and sugar and unsweetened tea are recommended (4).

4. Do endurance and weight training:

Muscles make up the majority of our basal metabolic rate, because through them we burn around 1200 to 1500 kilocalories per day when we are resting. The greater the proportion of muscle mass in the body, the higher the basal metabolic rate and also the energy consumption.

Studies have shown that even short units of strength exercises several times a week could increase the basal metabolic rate by an average of eight percent after six months. Converted, this means that about 125 more calories are burned per day.

That is why you should make sure that you do weight training in addition to interval and endurance training. Strong muscles not only protect the internal organs and strengthen the immune system, they are also crucial for a fast metabolism (5).

5. Avoid unhealthy snacks:

Muesli and chocolate bars, fruit slices, biscuits and milk beverages are often touted as healthy snacks in between by the advertising industry, but in reality they are real calorie bombs.

Make sure your snacks contain enough nutrients. Vitamin-rich fruits or vegetables, natural yoghurt or nuts are healthy snacks.

You should ignore very sugary or high-fat baked goods or bars. These fill you up quickly, but you will be hungry again after 2 hours at the latest.

You can find delicious snacks below 150 kilocalories here!

Proper diet is essential to increase your daily calorie consumption. Avoid unhealthy drinks and snacks, eat high-protein, drink plenty of water and exercise regularly.

Knowledge to take away

Calories or kilocalories are actually the outdated unit of measurement for the energy that our body burns every day and that we absorb again through food in the form of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The nutrients are broken down and used in the digestive tract. This releases energy, which we measure in kilojoules (kJ) or kilocalories (kcal). One kilocalorie is equivalent to 4.18 kilojoules.

The basal metabolic rate for women is approximately calculated using the formula: 0.9 * body weight * 24. For men, the formula: body weight * 24. Then it is multiplied by the personal PAL value to determine a rough guide value for the calorie requirement per day .

Especially when it comes to losing weight, it can be very helpful to have an overview of your personal basal metabolic rate and calorie consumption and thus develop a better feeling for how many calories can or should be eaten.

Proper diet is important to increase daily calorie consumption. Avoid soft drinks and unhealthy snacks, eat rich in protein and drink plenty of water. In addition, strength and endurance sports also help to boost calorie burning.