View Full Version : induvidual calorie needs

Nikki Young
01-30-2008, 05:42 PM
So i'm wondering how to obtain an idea of how many calories one should eat in order to stay alive. I've heard that if you get your lean body mass weight then add a zero at the end, then you have an idea of how many calories you need to keep your organs functioning properly, at rest. So say someone weighs 160pounds, add a zero, thats 1600calories they need to keep their body functioning properly.

How accurate is this, as a basic calculation of calories someone needs to just stay alive? Remembering this is just at rest, doing nothing..obviously if you exercise (mind and body) you'll need more calories to burn up.

(Also, can anyone link me to the article Robb Wolf wrote on Art Devany's site about Post Workout nutrition? I haven't read it but want too and can't find it. Thanks!)

Mike ODonnell
01-30-2008, 06:24 PM
very inaccurate.....as the body is smart and doesn't fit into some sort of equation standardized for everyone.

You can live without food for a long time and live (think of people who do extended fasts)....you can't live without water for long. You may lose muscle...but are we talking about muscle retention or just living?

Nikki Young
01-30-2008, 06:59 PM
Just living.

I know that whatever calculation is done to find a basic calorie need wouldn't be 100% accurate, but is there any form of calculation one can do to get an idea of how many calories they should be eating, to at least provide the body with enough energy to function properly?

I know JB has one on his site for calculating how many calories you should eat to put on more muscle mass, but i haven't come across any other calculatinos in that regards, apart from the one mentioned below.

Mike ODonnell
01-30-2008, 07:21 PM
I'm no expert but the body is a self regulating machine. You give it 500cal and it finds a way to live on 500cal. Now will that lower immune system and other functions? Maybe. But you will live. Think of it as a house with needing electricity of 1500 watts....but you only get 500 watts....some of the lights in the house will get shut off.....but doesn't mean the house is not liveable.

Many BB and competive figure models have gone as low as 500 cal a day....do they have any energy? No.....but they do it for the show and then eat again.

I don't think there is a magic number where 300 cal and you are dead. The body will lower the metabolism. lower the immune system..etc...keep shutting off "lights" in the house....and I imagine the last lights are the heart and brain....so it will take a long while to get them shut off.

Nikki Young
01-31-2008, 04:38 AM
Thanks Mike, i understand all that, i was just seeing if there was some sort of calculation one can do to get a very basic idea of how many calories they should be eating in order for their body to function properly. I wont include exercise and stuff on-top of it, because obviously that would make the whole calculation process harder. But would there be some way of determining this by running of their lean body mass and presuming they are just sleeping all day and not expending any energy by moving?

I do understand this won't be 100% accurate by any means. I know people can survive off eating hardly any calories (i have way too many clients who don't eat right and just can't understand that they need to eat more to lose BF!). If there isn't anything then thats fine! Just wanted to see if there was.

Mike ODonnell
01-31-2008, 06:03 AM
I think you probably dont want calorie levels too low for too long....they always say for men below 1800 and women below 1200. At some point you start getting the metabolism to slow down but that usually takes a while...and if you eat a ton on the weekend it resets the whole process. I don't know how magical those numbers are.