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Minimum calories for your body to function?


I was wondering if anyone can answer my question:

How many calories do you need to take in for your body to properly function? This means for your body to allow you to breath, sleep etc. Even if you were just sat in a chair all day.

Reason i ask is that i thought it was 2500 for an average male, but i heard its as little as 1200?

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Gone fishing
It really does depend on present weight, height, sex etc, but yes it can be as little as 1200.

The other figures (2,000 for woman and 2500) for men are assuming a little more activity than sleeping and breathing. It's an average number for an average person, doing an average day.


Gone fishing
By the way. Anyone who is doing a traditional diet should not go under 1100 calories as they will not get all the vitamins, minerals, fat, protein etc to sustain them.

VLCDs are different as their packs contain everything needed :)


Staff member
Basal Energy Expenditure...Harris-Benedict Equation

Basal Energy Expenditure

Calculating Your Basal Metabolic Rate and Total Calorie Needs
Your Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR is the rate at which you burn calories to sustain life functions at rest at a normal room temperature. Your activities, fitness level, stress level and more affect this. To calculate you take your resting metabolic rate and add the extra calories required by your daily activities to get an approximate total daily calorie expenditure.

To lose fat weight, it is generally recommended you eat 500 calories less than you burn up in a day.

To gain weight, it is generally recommended you eat at least 1000 calories more than you burn up in a day.

Here is how to calculate your BMR based on the popular Harris-Benedict formula:

66 + (6.3 X weight in lbs) + (12.9 X height in inches) - (6.8 X age in years)

655 + (4.3 X weight in lbs.) + (4.7 X height in inches) - (4.7 X age in years).

Example =
You are 32 years old woman
You are 5 feet 4 inches tall (162.5 cm)
Your weight is 154 pounds (70 kilos)
Your BMR is 655 + (662) + (291) - (150) = 1458 calories

1 inch = 2.54 cm.
1 kilogram = 2.2 lbs.

To calculate your Total Daily Calorie Needs,

Multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:
If you are Sedentary - little or no exercise
Calorie-Calculation = BMR X 1.2
If you are Lightly Active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week)
Calorie-Calculation = BMR X 1.375
If you are Moderately Active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week)
Calorie-Calculation = BMR X 1.55
If you are Very Active = BMR X 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/week)
Calorie-Calculation = BMR X 1.725
If you are Extra Active (very hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X day training)
Calorie-Calculation = BMR X 1.9

Example =
You are sedentary, multiply your BMR (1458) by 1.2 = 1750
Your total daily calorie requirement is therefore 1750 calories.
This is the total number of calories you need in order to MAINTAIN your current weight.

To lose weight you would reduce this by 500 calories per day or 1750-500 = 1250 calories/day
Further reading...


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