Almost everyone is familiar with the word “kilocalorie”.The vast majority of people who watch their weight know that in order to keep themselves "in shape" these very kilocalories need to be counted. Moreover, many - some more, some less successfully - even do this counting. However, very often, despite the "scientific" approach to the problem, the long-awaited effect - as a rule, we are talking about losing weight - never comes. What is the secret here? And how many of these very kilocalories does a person need per day in order to have a beautiful and slim figure? Let's figure it out. First, we need to find out what is hidden behind this word - "calorie". Perhaps the most "feminine" definition was given by the German designer Elena Henemann: "Calories are such small pests that come at night and sew up your clothes." It's hard to argue... and, really, - rascals! But seriously? Oddly enough, the concept of "calorie" is inextricably linked with water. However, nothing surprising. Water acts as a "basic" determinant in many physical processes. Take, for example, temperature. After all, everyone knows that the freezing point of water is taken as 0 degrees, and the boiling point - as 100. This is how we are used to determining temperature - focusing on water. The same with calories.

## What are calories?

Imagine that you have set the stove on two burners,working in the same mode, pots with different amounts of water. Which one will boil faster? That's right, the one with less water. But if you increase the power of one of the burners, the situation will change. And the pot with more water may boil first. This is where we come to the concept of "calorie". A calorie is the amount of heat needed to heat one gram of water by one degree Celsius. And a kilocalorie, as you might guess, is a thousand calories. Thus, it turns out that a calorie is not a vitamin, not fat, not protein, and, in general, not a substance, as many people believe. It is just a unit of energy measurement. So what does the fight against excess weight have to do with it? Is it possible to lose weight or gain weight from units of measurement? Of course not. But there is a connection, nevertheless. After all, what is heat? This is the energy that is released during combustion of fuel. And the "fuel" for the human body is food. It is they who "burn" during digestion and provide us with the necessary energy. When they say: "a person needs so many kilocalories per day", they mean that in order to maintain all processes, the body must receive a certain amount of energy. Now let's remember the basics of physics, or more precisely - the law of conservation. According to it, energy cannot arise "out of nothing" and disappear "into nowhere". Therefore, if a person does not use what has already entered his body, then - rest assured! - all this will be deposited in the form of "reserves for the future". That is, that hated fat that most people are trying to fight. Such is life - you can't argue with the laws of nature. A very simple conclusion follows from this: in order for your weight to remain unchanged, you must spend exactly as many kilocalories as you received. Well, if the goal is to lose weight, then the amount of "spent" should exceed the amount of "received". Then the body will have no choice but to use the reserves set aside "for a rainy day", and the fat will inevitably begin to "melt". This is why people who watch their weight pay attention to the energy value - "caloric content" - of products.

## Simple calculations

It would seem that everything is very simple.However, there is one problem - people are very different from each other. Everyone has a different height, age, body weight. Moreover, everyone leads a different lifestyle. Some move a lot and play sports. Others - the most extreme "journey" - from an office chair to a soft home sofa. Therefore, the number of kilocalories needed by everyone is different. How to calculate how many kilocalories a specific person needs to "eat" during the day? The daily norm can be determined in several ways. Perhaps one of the most popular today is the Maffin-Jeor method, which was developed back in 1990. This formula is considered the most accurate. In order to better understand the essence, a little theoretical knowledge is needed. The basic concept of the formula is "basal metabolism". What is it? Almost everyone knows that in the human body there is constant - even when we sleep - certain processes and chemical reactions occur that support life. Thanks to them, the heart and lungs work, the blood circulates, nails and hair grow, etc. And all this requires energy. But how much is needed? The more active our life is, the more "fuel" the body needs. The least amount of energy is spent at rest - during sleep. This minimum amount is taken as a "starting point". It is customary to call it the basal metabolic rate. This indicator depends on several factors - gender, age, height and physical activity. This is understandable - the energy expenditure, and therefore the daily rate of kilocalories, of a young "pumped up" man who does physical work is much greater than that of a young, slender girl who spends days at the computer. So. In order to use the Muffin-Jeor formula and calculate the "female" basal metabolic rate (BMR), you need to:

That's it. The basal metabolic rate is determined.The resulting number is the daily norm of kilocalories that your body needs for normal functioning. And this is on the condition that you will lie in bed and doze for 24 hours. In mathematical expression, this formula looks like this:

- OO = 9.99 x weight + 6.25 x height - 4.92 x age - 161.

Next - next step.Unfortunately, - however, perhaps, fortunately! - you won't be able to "be lazy" all day long for several weeks or months. Therefore, the "real" daily norm will differ from the number obtained earlier. The degree of your physical activity plays a big role here. So:

- if you are conducting a "sedentary" way of life, multiply the OO value by 1.2;
- If you exercise occasionally - once or twice a week - then multiply the OO by 1.375;
- if the classes are more regular, - from three to five times - then the coefficient will be 1.55;
- can not you live without exercise for a day? Multiply by 1,725;
- Well, with intensive strength training, carried out twice a day - in the morning and in the evening - the coefficient will be 1.9.

Have you counted? Good.The resulting number is your individual daily kilocalorie intake. This is how much you need to “eat” daily to maintain the weight that you “proudly wear” at the moment. Well, what if you want to lose weight? How will the intake change then? It is generally accepted that without harm to health, calorie intake can be reduced by 20% compared to your usual diet. In order to find out how many kilocalories you can reduce your diet by, simply multiply the result obtained earlier by 0.8. It should be borne in mind that a sharper reduction is quite dangerous. This can lead to the fact that the metabolism in the body will slow down and instead of the desired result, you will get a lot of health problems. Another way to determine how many kilocalories you need to “consume” per day will certainly please those who are bored or depressed by complex mathematical calculations. It is very simple. The daily intake is calculated using one mathematical operation. Simply multiply your weight by 28. This number will allow you to maintain what you “already have.” If you need to lose weight, then act by analogy. Multiply not the actual, but the desired weight. Despite the fact that this formula is the simplest and does not take into account either your age or lifestyle, it is recommended by many fitness trainers.

## Do not harm your body

It seems that everything is very easy and simple.But, while doing all these calculations, it is necessary to remember that you should not abuse low-calorie diets. Their long-term observance can lead to the body starting to use internal resources. Moreover, it will “pump” energy not from fat, as everyone would like, but from muscles. And this, as you understand, is not at all useful. Nutritionists believe that the caloric content of the daily diet should be at least 1200-1500 kcal. And if you decide to “go on” a “stricter” diet, then you can do this only with the approval - and under the supervision! - of a doctor. There is one more thing. Our body is designed very “smartly”. If you do not provide it with the necessary amount of kilocalories, it will “decide” that “hard times have come” and “turn on the economy mode”. As a result, the metabolism will slow down and fats will be burned even worse than usual. By the way, this is why quite often during diets there comes a so-called "plateau" - a period when the weight stops decreasing, no matter how hard you try. And what could be worse than limiting yourself in everything and, at the same time, not seeing any effect? And if you add to this all the "delights" of a slow metabolism - headaches, depression, loss of strength and a constant feeling of cold - then it becomes clear that such experiments on yourself are simply unacceptable. It is better to approach everything sensibly and thoughtfully. Do not be lazy - choose from existing ones or create your own balanced diet that suits you. Be sure to consult a doctor. And only then start following it. You will definitely succeed! You will see. We advise you to read: