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Caloric Games: How to calculate how many calories you need?

What are the reasons of overweight and what factors can lead to obesity? And how to calculate how many calories you need to stay fit?

- Primarily, the problem begins with disordered energy balance. The general rule is amazingly simple: good energy balance means that energy ingested with food should be more or less equal to what is spent. Basically, energy ingested is the quantity of calories you get from food and drinks. On the lowest levels of physiological activity, this energy is expended as the organism runs such functions as breathing, digesting and staying awake and active.

What serves best for your health is to plan your life in order to not knock off the balance over time. In other words, it’s not how big a breakfast you consume that makes your organism store excess fat, but the efficiency of your body’s way of getting rid of those calories. Later, we will talk about how to calculate how many calories you need. Now take a look at the most typical situations when calories could turn into a bit of a nuisance:

- The lack of exercising and an indolent lifestyle. Many grownups do not work hard enough on their fitness. One reason why this happens is that quite a few people spend long hours watching TV and/or sitting at the computer. In fact, spending more than two or three hours per day watching television on a regular basis is associated with many people’s obesity issues. Among other grounds for not being properly active are the following: people use a car to get around instead of walking; technology along with modern conveniences have reduced the demand in proper physical activity both at work and home. The less active people are, the more they are predisposed to gaining weight because they fail to burn the calories they consume with food and beverages. A deskbound or sedentary lifestyle also raises the risk of high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, colon cancer diabetes and other unwanted upshots.

- Unhealthy eating. This problem consists of several factors. Firstly, the extra-large portions of high-calorie foods, such as french fries, mayonnaise and chocolate. Many individuals are exposed to enormous portions of various food in supermarkets, restaurants, movie theaters, fast food outlets, gas stations, and even at home. Sometimes, you can see that these endless meals and snacks are big enough to feed several people at once.

Secondly, what we have troubles with is the lack of simple access to healthy products. Some individuals have in their neighborhood grocery stores selling healthy foods like garden-fresh fruits and veggies. For others, these foods are too expensive. Thirdly, quite often, we are victims of commercials that advertise snacks high in calories and fat, as well as drinks loaded with sugar. We’re talking about Coca Cola’s “Taste the Feeling” and those “catchy” descriptions of Doritos and Skittles. It’s shocking that even being criticized and catcalled at, those advertisements keep succeeding in bringing unhealthy foods to consumers.

- Stress and emotion-related factors. Quite a lot of us tend to eat more than usual when we are angry, bored or greatly stressed. In the course of time, overeating leads to increases in weight and may cause significant complications with excess fat.

- Sleep loss. It has been shown by numerous research that the risk of obesity greatly correlates with sleep problems. For instance, a study conducted on adolescents showed that the chances to become obese increased with each hour of disordered sleep. Such flaws in one’s regime aren’t harmless for other age brackets as well. Individuals who experience troubled sleep usually seem to prefer foodstuffs that contain more sugars and fats. Dreaming keeps a normal balance of ghrelin (the hormone that makes us feel hungry) and leptin (one that makes us feel full). Experiencing disturbed or troubled sleep increases the concentration of ghrelin, whereas the amount of leptin in the blood drops. As a result, many non-sleepers could be frustrated about their hunger or satiety feelings.

The calculation of calories we need is based on the metabolic rate. Here, we should make a distinction between basal metabolism and total energy requirements. BMR (short for Basal Metabolic Rate) is the energy level we require to maintain basic body functions. As it has already been said, weight changes greatly depending on the balance between calories consumed and expended.

There are several methods of how to calculate how many calories you need. BMR is calculated in kilocalories/day; this data can be collected using a test called indirect calorimetry. However, it is possible to get pretty precise results using different mathematical formulas.

If we give our body exactly the calories it needs, we will maintain our weight at a normal level. If there was a negative balance between what we eat and what is spent, this would lead to weight loss while a positive balance would cause weight gain. Depending on the level of your physical activity and macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) consumed, changing your calorie intake might result in a major change in the percentage of body fat or muscle.

Harris-Benedict formula is one of the most commonly used, but it does not take into account the individual's percentage of fat. That is to say, the more excess weight you have the bigger is the margin of error.

- Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)
- Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)

For example, if you are 29 year old, weigh 155 lbs, with 67 inches height, and a female:
BRM = 655 + (4.35*155) + (4.7*67) + (4.7*29) = 1780.45 (the total daily amount of calories you need to keep your current weight)

Even knowing how to calculate how many calories you need, you should make clear of some other important things such as caloric max and min. Your maximal amount of calories depends on how many additional physical activities you are involved in, whereas the lower limit determines where the “metabolic tomb” begins. The metabolic tomb is a sobriquet for damaged metabolism. It occurs when we fail to lose body fat no matter how little our calorie intake is. Sometimes you enter this broken metabolism state when your calorie consumption level is too low.

As you can see, it’s essential to plan and follow the lifestyle that is solely suitable for you. Starting from the calorie consumption level and ending with the exercise level, your organism’s needs should be carefully measured and understood.

Apparently, the one-size-fits-all calorie recommendations do not work neither for you nor for anybody else who take care of their health.

So, what exactly can you do about finding your optimal energy balance?
Healbe GoBe is a great instrument that will become an integral element of your mode of living. This handy device shows the data on display in real time, providing you with valuable readings on your body’s natural processes. It is an indispensable tool for you to ensure a lasting and successful weight loss. Get your healthy diet scrupulously planned with Healbe GoBe!

Please note that while the Healbe GoBe bracelet is designed to provide you with information about the conditions and trends in the physical state of your body, Healbe GoBe is not meant to be used as a medical device and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease; also note that it should not be used as a substitution for expert medical advice. Healbe GoBe measures the basic characteristics of your body using unique technology and algorithms to provide you with accurate data (including consumed and burned calories, step count and distance walked, energy balance, sleep quality, stress level, and heart-rate), but the accuracy of the GoBe's readings depends on the accuracy of the personal data you put in your profile and whether or not you are using the GoBe correctly.

Healbe recommends that you always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health expert with any questions you may have regarding a health condition, diet, or physical fitness program.

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