Sex, as well as age and the amount of physical activity we do daily are the factors that will determine how many calories we should consume per day.
Daily caloric intake is difficult to determine. Although there are some general parameters, the truth is that age, weight, height, lifestyle and even sex, affect that number that we seek so much.
For this reason, today we are going to discover what daily caloric intake is recommended based on the multiple factors already mentioned. In addition, we will reflect on why that happens this way and what affects that number of calories.
Women’s daily caloric intake
Women need a different daily caloric intake depending on their age. However, there will always be a range of calories wide enough so that everyone can adapt it to their needs.
If we don’t arrive and stay at the gates, nothing happens. The daily caloric intake is not that strict. In fact, calorie restriction can be positive for health in the medium and long term, according to an article published in the journal Current Diabets Reports .
According to age and activity
Next, we are going to describe in a schematic way, according to age and activity level, the calories that women should consume daily in their life:
- Age 19-30 years: women who are sedentary should have a daily caloric intake between 1,300 and 1,500 calories, those who do moderate activity up to 1700 and those who have a great physical activity up to 2000.
- Age 30-50 years: sedentary women should consume a maximum of 1400. If they have a moderate activity to this figure would add 200 calories and if they are much more active would add 400 calories more.
- Age 50 years: From this age women should consume 1,300 calories if they have a sedentary lifestyle, 1,400 if they do some moderate activity and 1,700 if they exercise a lot.
Taking into account the above values, during pregnancy and lactation an additional 300 to 400 calories should be added per day. In this way, we would be in the recommended daily caloric intake for our state.
Men’s caloric intake
Like women, men also need a different daily caloric intake depending on their lifestyle and age. Therefore, as we did with women, we are going to see what percentage of calories is the most appropriate for your current situation.
- Age 19-30 years: sedentary men should have a caloric intake between 1700 and 2000 calories; if they practice moderate activity this figure would rise to 2200 or 2400. In the case of high physical activity, it is not recommended to exceed 2800-3000 calories.
- Age 30-50 years: sedentary men would have to consume about 1800 calories a day. On the other hand, if they practice a moderate activity this figure would rise to 2400 or 2600 and if they practice a high activity up to 3000.
- Age 50 years: from this age you should reduce your caloric intake to 1600 calories if you are sedentary, 2,200 if you have a moderate lifestyle and, at most, rise to 2,600 if physical activity is very high.
As we have verified by far the daily caloric intake of women, men need a higher caloric intake. However, as we will see below, our goals are also going to be important in determining our adequate caloric intake.
Calories up, calories down
What happens when we want to lose weight? Or gain muscle mass? The daily caloric intake will undergo some modification with respect to the previous values. Although they can be maintained, as long as we include some modification.
For example, if I am a 19-year-old woman who wants to reduce my weight, I can consume 1,500 calories if I do moderate physical activity. In this way, I am subtracting about 200 calories and that can benefit me.
In the opposite case that I wanted to increase my weight, I should add calories or reduce my activity. In the case of men, the same thing happens.
However, we have to keep in mind that counting calories is not the only important thing. You have to reflect on how healthy those calories are.
Calories, but quality
For example, if I am a man and I want to increase my muscle mass, increasing my caloric intake is not enough. This has to be high in protein.
To guarantee the genesis of lean tissue, a correct supply of essential amino acids is essential, according to a study published in 2018.
Instead, what if I want to gain weight and it costs me a lot? You can increase the percentage of fat, but be careful with the type of lipids. Donuts and hamburgers are not recommended.
Instead, eat healthy fats such as:
- Blue Fish.
- Olive oil.
Read: 5 foods rich in protein that you should include in your diet
Take into account your energy needs to plan the diet
Do you already know what your daily caloric intake is? There are several mobile applications that help you know what you consume, how much your calories are and what percentage of carbohydrates, fats and proteins they contain. They can be very helpful.
Knowing roughly what your energy expenditure is, you can plan a diet according to your needs. In this way you will feel healthier and avoid unwanted weight gains.