How to Determine Your Maintenance Calories

runner stretching on steps

With the holidays winding down, now is the time to do two important things: Recover from Uncle Joe’s sense of “humor,” and determine the maintenance calories necessary to get your weight back on track. 

Fortunately, you have Aunt Patty to whisk Uncle Joe off and put up with him until the next holiday, though so far as maintaining your weight, there may be some determinations to make. 

However, it isn’t too hard to find out just how many calories you need to consume on a daily basis so that your weight stays at a healthy, even level. 

And, here’s how!

What are Maintenance Calories?

Simply put, maintenance calories are the number of calories you need each day to maintain your weight and body composition. This includes your muscle mass and body fat content. 

However, if you already count calories you may be surprised to find that you are missing a few, including from activities you don’t consider “exercise” as well as from your normal resting metabolism. This is because even walking a few blocks or taking the stairs rather than the elevator should be considered exercise even if you deem the effort “minimal.” 

The same can be said for times of inactivity, since your body continuously burns energy throughout the day and even while you sleep. For instance, your brain consumes about 20% of your resting energy, and other organs such as your heart and lungs also need a constant supply of energy to keep going.

This means that if you are basing your daily calories only on what you burn while working out, you are missing much of what you use each day. Heck, even feigning a laugh at one of Uncle Joe’s jokes and thanking Aunt Patty heartily for taking him back home with her requires extra calories!

In all seriousness, these are often areas which can be overlooked and cause you to go from needing to lose weight to needing to gain some. 

man in blue shirt blending spring mix and cucumber

Calories to Maintain Weight

When you enter your daily needs into your calorie calculator, you need to factor in all calories to maintain weight. This includes resting calories, workout calories and even taking-a-casual-stroll-around-the-block calories. In fact, your workout calories are likely to make up a very small proportion of your daily need since the average person only burns around 133 calories during a half-hour’s weight training workout. Clearly, this is a fraction of the 2500 or-so calories which the average active person burns per day.

Of course, these are only general numbers and yours will be determined by a few factors, such as:

  • Your age
  • Your gender
  • Your body type
  • Your activity level
  • Your metabolism 

All told, this means you need to determine 3 factors in making your determinations:

  1. Your BMR, or basic metabolic rate
  2. Your NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis
  3. Your exercise calories

Now, while there are many formulas and calculations you can put together to determine these things—BMR in particular—doing so can be like taking a long car trip with Uncle Joe and his joke book. 

No thanks!

Fortunately, there are many calorie calculators available to help you avoid the math, such as this one here. No, not all methods will give the same exact number, though all will show you within reason the number of calories you can expect to consume daily to maintain a healthy weight. 

You may also need to make some adjustments based on your hunger, and if you find you are constantly famished and struggling to keep weight on you need to add calories. Likewise, if you feel stuffed after eating and are seeing your weight increase, you need to pare back on your calculations. 

Other factors such as skipping a workout, adding a workout, working out more intensely than normal or cross-training should also be minded when determining your daily calorie needs. 

girl with headphones drinking water bottle

Fueling up

Knowing your maintenance calories is important, though so is avoiding the consumption of empty calories, processed foods or otherwise poor-quality nutrition. 

Plus, you’re a busy person and convenience counts!

Fortunately, here at EatRite Foods we have your answer in the form of great tasting, nutritious meals which we can deliver right to your door. Since all our meals feature full disclosure of calories, fat, carbohydrates and protein, there is no need for any guesswork on your part so that all you need to do is order and enjoy—as it should be!

And, you’re going to love our prices, since the more you order, the more you save. 

So, come and visit us at either of our two convenient locations or give us a call for delivery. We’d love to hear from you, and more importantly, you’re going to love our food!

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Buffalo, ny

Eat Rite Foods

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Saturday - Sunday
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1 Delaware Rd Kenmore NY, 14217
1785 Military Rd Niagara Falls NY, 14304

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1 Delaware Rd. Kenmore NY, 14217
1785 Military Rd. Niagara Falls NY, 14304

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Monday- Friday 9AM – 7PM
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