How Many Calories Do You Need?

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How Many Calories Do You Need?

Many runners are concerned with their weight. After all, extra pounds are tough to carry on a five-mile run. This concern can lead to under-eating, which isn't any healthier than over-eating. To find the approximate number of calories you need daily, use the following three-step calculation. (Note: This is to maintain body weight.)

Step 1: Determine your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). This is simple: multiply your body weight by ten. If you weigh 150 pounds, 150 x 10 = 1500. So, your RMR is 1500.

Step 2: Determine your overall activity level. If you're very active, add 60% - 80% to your RMR. If you're moderately active, add 40% - 60%. And if you're generally sedentary, add 20% - 40%. We'll say our 150-pound runner is moderately active, and use the middle of the range. So 1500 + (1500 x 50%) = 1500 + 750, or 2250.

Step 3: Add your “workout calories.” Figure 100 calories per mile run - this just is an approximation. If our subject runs four miles a day… 4 x 100 = 400, and 2250 + 400 = 2650.

So, our hypothetical 150-pound runner needs about 2650 calories per day.



7/14/2009 11:10:16 AM
marlena said:

how many carbs are REALLY necessary? especially if you are use to a low carb diet

7/14/2009 1:42:05 PM
Heidi said:


I'm not an expert on low-carb diets, but I recommend reading a bit more from one of my favorite resources, the Mayo Clinic,

Personally, I think that these diets can be ok if you are trying to lose weight by dieting alone, but if you are exercising also (which studies show is the best way to maintain weight loss), carbs are a valuable source of energy. And you have more leeway in terms of total calorie intake overall (whether from carbs, protein, or fat) if you exercise!

Hope that helps,

9/1/2012 9:59:07 PM
Kayla said:

What if I'm 106 pounds very active run 8 miles a day at a 7.5 minute mile how many calories do I need?

10/24/2012 1:17:52 PM
Heidi said:


I can't give you an exact number of calories, but it sounds like you are very slim and very active, so you don't need to be counting them. You can likely eat more than you are eating. If you are feeling tired, be sure you are eating enough, especially carbs and protein.

Make sure your diet includes plenty of carbs for energy, look for whole wheat choices of bread, pasta, etc., and don't forget the protein. If you aren't a meat eater, I swear by peanut butter--I put it on carrots, bananas, in sandwiches, and right out of the jar (love it). Also, be sure you are getting enough calcium from dairy sources and/or calcium supplements. I like those chocolate chewy calcium things.

Good luck!


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