There are several methods to calculate daily caloric needs, among the most well-known are:
Harris-Benedict Equation: This method was developed in the early 1910s by two individuals, James Arthur Harris and Francis Gano Benedict, and was later revised in the 1980s. This method uses information such as weight, height, age, and sex to calculate basal metabolic rate (BMR) and then applies an adjustment factor based on activity level to arrive at daily caloric needs.
Mifflin-St Jeor Equation: This method was developed in the 1990s and uses the same information as the Harris-Benedict equation to calculate basal metabolic rate (BMR), but is based on more recent research and is considered to be more accurate.
Katch-McArdle Formula: This method takes into account body composition (i.e. percentage of body fat) and uses a formula that utilizes lean body mass (i.e. muscle mass) to calculate basal metabolic rate (BMR).
Cunningham Equation: This method is similar to the Katch-McArdle formula and takes into account body composition to calculate basal metabolic rate (BMR), but uses a different formula.
Minimum Daily Calorie intake
It is difficult to set absolute bottom calorie levels because everyone has different body composition and activity levels.
Health authorities do set some baselines – these are 1200 calories per day for women, and 1800 calories per day for men.
These rules don’t make sense – are you a sedentary person with little muscle mass? Or someone who is tall, muscular, and exercises a lot? Absolute levels don’t work – but do give us a starting point