The Daily Crunch: Required Daily Caloric Intake

Created by:

9 Aug 2016 - General

photo from

Satisfying and curbing hunger is a primal instinct for humans. Believe it or not, we either habitually undershoot or overshoot our daily caloric intake by a huge margin. It is very important how much calories to shoot for everyday to maintain normal body processes and prevent excessive weight gain or loss. This article should guide us in eating appropriately for our body's needs.

Step 1: Know your desirable body weight (DBW).

It is a mistake to use your current body weight to approximate the amount for daily caloric needs. Doing so will erroneously increase or decrease your caloric goals.

Kindly refer to the link below to determine your desirable body weight:

Step 2: Know your physical activity level classification

Sedentary - activities of daily living (ADLS) with little to no exercise (i.e. office job)

Light - exercises at light intensity (i.e. leisurely walking and stretching)

Moderate - exercises at moderate intensity 3-5 times per week (i.e. brisk walking and biking on level surface)

Heavy activity - exercises at moderate to heavy intensity 3-5 times per week (i.e. participating in sports or jogging/running)

Step 3: Multiply your DBW with the recommended caloric intake for each physical activity level

Sedentary - 30kcal/kg/day ; For a 70kg person, 30kcal/kg/day x 70 = 2,100 kcal/day

Light - 35kcal/kg/day ; For a 70kg person, 35kcal/kg/day x 70 = 2,450 kcal/day

Moderate - 40kcal/kg/day ; For a 70kg person, 40kcal/kg/day x 70 = 2,800 kcal/day

Heavy activity - 45kcal/kg/day; For a 70kg person, 45kcal/kg/day x 70 = 3,150 kcal/day


There you have it! Knowing your daily caloric requirement is very easy to do and you do not have to rely on tables for rough estimation.

Happy computing (part 2)!

That's too many divisions and subtractions for my little brain too. Really, is it the addition/subtraction or the multiplication that you have to do first? Gosh I used to be very smart at math, look what medicine has done to the head! :D Anyway thanks for the calculator. But that equation does not account for the inherent or environmental variation in the basal metbolic rate, does it? A 30 year old african living in the Sahara desert will have the same basal metabolic rate as a 30 year old ...
 (Total 112 words)
So I said to myself, "ok more math, great!" Then I went through the steps and thought no problem and calculated around 2700 kcal per day (I don't eat that much per day so I am totally under nourished). Then I went through the comments and came across @Theekshana Abayawickrama's concern about basal metabolic rate. Then came the computation for BMR and I was all "@Marinelle Castro did you find that online calculator?" haha so I have to multiply and divide before I subtr...
 (Total 89 words)
Theekshana Abayawickrama That is a very keen observation. This estimation does not factor in baseline basal metabolic rate (BMR) for each individual. However, it does account for the increase in basal metabolic rate due to exercise which is the basis for increase in caloric consumption as activity level increases. Exercise increases lean muscle mass. Muscle is known to be very metabolically active and consumes ene...
 (Total 145 words)
I can understand that this is a very basic estimation of the daily calorie requirements. But I do see a big part that is missing in this equation. Does this calculation account for the variation in the basal metabolic rate among individuals? There are ectomorphs who burn way too much calorie compared to the endomorphs just to get their basic metabolism going. So they definitely need to take more if they want to achieve a certain body weight. This calculation would be more accurate if we factor i...
 (Total 118 words)