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27 May 2020 - 3 min read

Finding a Balance: Understanding Calorie Intake for a Healthy Life

The Basic Equation: Calories IN = Calories OUT

Remember calories count! Weight management is all about finding a balance between the calories you consume and the calories your body burns off through the day. As mentioned previously, people have different calorie needs depending on several factors. In order to start balancing your calories, you will have to count them. There are several ways to determine this and one of them is by using the Harris-Benedict Formula. This formula is used by many nutritionists and takes into account several variables like age, weight, height, and level of daily activity. Here’s how to use this tool:

The Harris-Benedict Equation

First off, you’ll need to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). BMR is basically the amount of energy your body needs to function if it were at rest for 24 hours. To measure this, you’ll need your weight, height, as well as age and sex. Here are the formulas:

For men: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) + 5
For women: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) – 161

The only difference between these two formulas is that we add 5 kcal for men and subtract 161 kcal for women. To determine your daily calorie needs, multiply the BMR result by the appropriate physical activity factor.

For low physical activity (little or no exercise), multiply by 1.2
For light physical activity (light exercise, doing sports one to three days a week), multiply by 1.375
For moderate physical activity (moderate exercise, doing sports three to five days a week), multiply by 1.55
For high physical activity (hard exercise, doing sports six or seven days a week), multiply by 1.725
For extra high physical activity (very hard exercise, doing sports, and a physical job), multiply by 1.9

Tips on Balancing Calories

Consistency is key when finding balance for your health. To make it work, you will need to keep a diet pattern and make exercise a part of your daily routine. It doesn’t have to be a full-blown body workout; in fact, going for a run for 30 minutes three times a week or an hour of yoga can make all the difference.

1. Keep a food diary.

A food diary is a log of what you consume every day. It’s a great way to keep track of your diet, meal plans, and calorie intake. It’s also a great tool for understanding your eating habits.

2. Move it, move it! through the day!

Even if you can’t manage to do intense body workouts, it’s important to move your body throughout the day and find ways to stay fit and burn off those calories. A long walk or some yoga goes a long way! You can also keep a workout log to keep track of your progress. Make sure you check in with a professional to know which type of exercises are best for you.

3. Mind your portions and snack healthy!

Portions are the amount of food you consume in a meal. It’s important to mind how much you are eating. Take it one step at a time to avoid binging episodes and try to resist going for second rounds. It’s alright to snack but don’t eat from the bag. Also, choose alternative healthier options that will make you feel more full like hard-boiled eggs, almonds, or dried fruits. If it helps, you can pre-portion snacks to resist temptation or try eating smaller portions throughout the day.

4. Enjoy a variety of whole foods.

You don’t have to exclude one food group to get your diet going. Fill your plate with lots of fresh food and produce. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, and go for more lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. It’s important that you enjoy your meals and do not feel deprived of certain food.

5. Weigh yourself.

Weighing yourself regularly is a good practice if you want to balance your calorie intake and track your health progress. Try to step on the scale once a week on the same day, and at the same time to see if you are losing, gaining, or staying the same weight.

A healthy life leads to a happy life. Find more fun activities on Traveloka to help you stay fit and healthy!

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