How many calories should you eat per day?

diet, fat loss, gain weight, weight loss -

How many calories should you eat per day?

Calories are a way to measure energy in things that we eat. If something has a lot of calories, then its very energy dense and will supply your body with energy to use or store as fat. If we are trying to gain muscle or lose weight, then the amount of calories we need may vary and it can get hard to track what we need to do to our calorie intake. So, if you are unsure about how many calories you should be consuming then read on as we are sharing how many calories you should be consuming to reach your goals and make your understanding or calories better.


It matters

When it comes to the amount of calories you should be consuming this can depend on many different things. The calories you require for your body to sustain itself varies, for example someone who has more muscle mass and is taller would require more calories for their body to sustain itself compared to someone who is smaller and with less muscle mass. One thing is for sure is that you need to make sure your body is getting enough calories it needs as this can lead to your body burning muscle and the fat stores you may have.

Not getting enough calories may lead to fat loss, which can be good but being in a calorie deficit can have its negatives. These can include a reduced concentration and irritability and the feeling of always being hungry. Eating too many calories can also have some negative effects. One obvious side effect is weight gain as your consuming more calories than you can burn so your body will store the energy as fat. So, when it comes to how many calories you need then it can vary and is something you want to be getting right to avoid these side effects.


Your sex makes a difference

One of the main things that can matter how many calories you should eat is your sex. If you’re a male, you generally require more calories, and the recommendation is around 2,500 calories for maintenance. The number of calories that is recommended for women is 2,000 which is 500 less then what males require. This is mainly due to men having more muscle mass and higher metabolisms, which means they require more calories for maintenance as they burn more.  

Men require more calories than women as they usually have more muscle mass that requires maintenance. Also, men tend to hold less fat than women, meaning they don’t have the energy stored so they will have to consume it to make sure they have enough energy for maintenance. Age can also make a difference as when you get older you require less calories as your body tends to lose muscle mass and you are pretty much finished growing. This obviously changes if the women become pregnant as they now require more calories as they are eating for themselves and the growing baby inside them.


To gain muscle

To gain muscle your calorie requirements may differ to what they would usually be. When looking to gain weight and muscle you want to be in a calorie surplus, this is when you’re eating more calories then you need and this helps you gain muscle. For this you want to be in a surplus of around 200 to 500 calories a day depending on your goals. It can take a bit of trial and error to find your perfect balance of calories for muscle growth. If you’re also a hard gainer and find you can eat huge amounts of food without gaining weight, then you would probably want to start your surplus quite high an alter it from there.

When it comes to muscle gain you want to be getting enough calories, but this isn’t the only thing to look out for in your diet. You will also benefit from paying attention to other macro nutrients like protein and carbohydrate intake. When trying to gain muscle you need to make sure you’re getting enough protein as these are broken down into amino acids and are used to rebuild and gain muscle. You also want to pay attention to carb and fat intake as too much can lead to a lot of body fat gained but not enough and you will not see any muscle gain.


Weight loss

When we are trying to lose weight the word calories is used a lot. As your looking to burn some of the fat on your body you want to be in a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit is when you are consuming less then you require, as this is the case your body will resort to using your fat stores which results in losing weight. You don’t want to be too restrictive when it comes to how many calories you need, as this can have some side effects. For this reason, we recommend you determine your maintenance calories required and then lower this gradually. Do not go too low as this can have negative effects on your body and can result in losing more muscle mass.

Losing weight can be done off just diet alone but some may decide to do some training to burn a few extra calories and make losing weight quicker. If you do exercise, then you want to consider the calories you do burn as this will also add to your deficit. Not getting enough calories can cause some negative things like decreases muscle mass, mood swings and a less effective immune system. You may also feel more tired as your body does not have the available energy to use. For this reason, you should not always be in a calorie deficit so you can grow and be healthy.


Lifestyle and training

When you’re trying to determine how many calories you should be consuming you should also consider your lifestyle. As some people have physically demanding jobs, they will burn more calories compared to someone with a job that involves sitting down. For this reason, the more active person may require more calories as they burn more at work. For example, if you work a hard and physically demanding job like construction, you will be required to consume more calories than someone who is a receptionist as they burn more and need to make sure their body is getting all the calories it needs.

You also need to take your training into consideration as this can have a big impact on how many calories you consume. As different exercises burn different amount of calories you need to tailor your calorie intake around your fitness regime. For example, if you’re a weightlifter and want to gain as much muscle as possible then you want to be in a calorie surplus. Whatever training you are doing try and track how many calories you burn or need so you can alter your overall calorie intake.  If you’re not getting enough calories, then you will find performance is decreased and you won’t make progress and also may lose some muscle mass.


Calories are not everything

When it comes to your diet the number of calories is important but it isn’t everything. For example, if you are meeting your daily calorie goas but are paying no attention to your macro nutrients then you are not getting the most out of your diet. By macro nutrients we mean the amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fat you are consuming. These nutrients each have independent roles in the body, and you want to be making sure you’re not depriving yourself of them and you’re taking too much as this can also have side effects. For example, if you consume too many carbohydrates you will start to gain weight as carbs are very energy dense and you won’t be able to use all of it.

You may change your macro nutrients depending on your goals like you would with your calories. For example, if you’re looking to gain more muscle mass then you want to make sure you’re getting enough protein as this is what is used to build muscles. You also want to pay attention to your carbohydrate intake as these will give you energy for your body to use, reducing the chances of your body breaking down protein or muscle for energy.


Overall, calories are very important, and everyone should pay attention to how many calories they are consuming. Everything we eat has calories in it and we hope now you have a better idea of how many calories you should be eating and where them calories are coming from. When it comes to staying fit and healthy diet is very important and should not be overlooked. So, if you’re working towards a fitness goal then have a look at your diet and calorie intake as making changes to this.