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This is how many calories your body *actually* needs in a day

Netdoctor (UK) logo Netdoctor (UK) 09/02/2018 Natasha Rigler

This simple sum tells you just how many calories you need in a day © Westend61 / Getty This simple sum tells you just how many calories you need in a day We all know that the average women should be consuming 2,000 calories in a day, while men need 2,500. But just how true is that, exactly?

Well, the true number of calories you need all depends on your height, along with other factors such as how much exercise you do and how fast your metabolism is.

But experts have come up with something they believe is far more accurate than the current GDA (guideline daily amount) and, as it turns out, you may end up needing more calories than you think.

While it's always assumed that simply eating less is the key to weight loss, this isn't always the case when taken to extremes. Starving the body can actually prompt it to cling onto fat cells and put a stop of muscle growth, with your brain preparing your body for famine.

Now we all know that isn't good at all so, if you are intrigued, you may find this little sum rather interesting...

First you need to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) using The Schofield Calculator. This is the number of calories your body needs to survive if you were literally lying in bed all day.

© Provided by National magazine company ltd (Hearst UK) Pick your age bracket for your sex and jump on the scales to find out your exact weight (W) in kilos. Then, follow this formula:


10-17 years BMR = 13.4 x W + 692 

18-29 years BMR = 14.8 x W + 487

30-59 years BMR = 8.3 x W + 846


10-17 years BMR = 17.7 x W + 657

18-29 years BMR = 15.1 x W + 692

30-58 years BMR = 11.5 x W + 873

So for example, if you're a 22-year-old female who weighs 63kg, you take 14.8 x 63 + 487. This then equals a Basal Metabolic Rate of 1,419.4 calories a day.

Next, take this figure and apply it to one of the following activity scores. But before you get excited, bear in mind that 'inactive men and women' actually applies to most people in the UK. If you counteract sitting at a desk all day by hitting the gym five times a week, however, you're considered 'moderately active'.

BMR x 1.4 inactive men and women: A person who does not have a physically demanding job, for example predominantly desk bound. Their lifestyle would not include any form of structured exercise, and would be generally low intensity.

BMR x 1.6 moderately active women/ 1.7 for men: A person with a more physically demanding job or a job the involving lot of walking. They would also perform some structured, moderate intensity exercise approximately three times per week.

BMR x 1.8 very active women/ 1.9 for men: A person who performs intense exercise for one hour per day or whose job is very physically demanding and also performed some structured exercise.

So back to that 22-year-old woman who weighs 63kg; if she's gyms it up three times a week and works as a nurse, for example, then that'll give her a daily intake of 2,271.

For more information and useful tips, visit our weight loss collection.

Related: 15 foods that boost your immune system (provided by The Active Times)

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