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Calorie Calculation Formulas: How to Choose Yours and Achieve Fitness Goals

July 2, 2024

Want to know how many calories your body needs each day? There are several formulas to calculate this, and each has its unique features. Let's explore their differences and see when each is best used, so you can choose the one that suits you the most.

Mifflin-St Jeor Formula: A Modern Approach

The Mifflin-St Jeor formula was introduced in 1990 and quickly gained popularity due to its accuracy and simplicity. This formula considers your weight, height, age, and gender to determine the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) — the number of calories your body burns at rest.

Formula:

  • For men: BMR = (10 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) - (5 × age in years) + 5
  • For women: BMR = (10 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) - (5 × age in years) - 161

When to Use:

  • Suitable for most people as it accounts for modern demographic changes.
  • Recommended for those who lead a moderately active lifestyle.

Emily's Story

Emily is an office worker who wants to lose a few pounds before summer. She leads a moderately active lifestyle: she walks to work and goes to the gym several times a week. The Mifflin-St Jeor formula is perfect for Emily, as it allows her to accurately calculate her daily caloric needs and achieve her desired results.

Harris-Benedict Formula: For the Active and Determined

The Harris-Benedict formula was developed back in 1919 but is still widely used by athletes. It also considers weight, height, age, and gender but additionally calculates the number of calories burned during physical activity.

Formula:

  • For men: BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 × weight in kg) + (4.799 × height in cm) - (5.677 × age in years)
  • For women: BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 × weight in kg) + (3.098 × height in cm) - (4.330 × age in years)

When to Use:

  • Ideal for people with high levels of physical activity.
  • Recommended for those who want to account for basal metabolism and additional calories burned throughout the day.

John's Story

John is an athlete who runs and wants to increase his endurance. His day is filled with training, and he leads an active lifestyle. The Harris-Benedict formula suits John best as it considers his high level of physical activity and helps accurately calculate the necessary amount of calories to maintain energy and improve athletic performance.

World Health Organization (WHO) Formula: A Global Perspective

The WHO offers a formula based on research conducted worldwide. It considers age, gender, and level of physical activity, making it universal for different population groups.

Formula:

  • For adult men and women with moderate physical activity:
    • Men: BMR = 13.75 × weight in kg + 5 × height in cm - 6.75 × age in years + 66
    • Women: BMR = 9.56 × weight in kg + 1.85 × height in cm - 4.68 × age in years + 655

When to Use:

  • Suitable for various age groups, from children to the elderly.
  • Recommended for use in international and multicultural contexts.

Robert's Story

Robert is a retiree who takes care of his health. He leads an active lifestyle, but his age and cultural specifics require a tailored approach to calorie calculation. The WHO formula is perfect for Robert as it considers his age and level of physical activity, helping him maintain an optimal weight and feel great at any age.

How to Choose Your Formula?

  • Mifflin-St Jeor Formula: Ideal for everyday use if you have moderate activity, like Emily.
  • Harris-Benedict Formula: Better suited for athletes and people with high levels of physical activity, like John.
  • WHO Formula: Recommended for use in international and multicultural contexts, as well as for a wide range of age groups, like Robert.

If you have a website dedicated to health, nutrition, or dietetics, install the WP Calorie Calculator plugin. Your users will be able to easily calculate their caloric needs, and you will gain valuable information about potential clients. If your site is not on the WordPress platform, use the Calorie Calculator Cloud, which also provides convenient and accurate tools for calorie calculation.

We hope you can now choose the formula that will help you achieve your goals and maintain your health. Pick your formula, start counting calories, and watch your body transform for the better!

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