For many years, diets such as keto, Paleo, and “clean eating” ruled supreme, focusing on limiting specific foods rather than overall food consumption.
However, according to the International Food Information Council’s 2021 Food and Health Survey, calorie counting appears to be the most popular way to diet once again.
Do men need to count every calorie to be healthy or achieve their fitness goals? Certainly not.
Without a doubt, you understand what a calorie is. After all, calorie counts are listed on packaged foods and fast food menus, and it isn’t easy to have a nutrition or fitness conversation without at least a few mentions of calories. Perhaps you’ve tried a popular calorie tracker, such as MyFitnessPal or Noom.
Do you know how many calories you require in a day? Keep reading to see the answer.
How many calories do men require?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average American man under 40 stands 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 197 pounds. He would require approximately 2,822 calories per day to maintain his weight at a moderate activity level (moderate exercise 3 to 5 times per week).
Calories to lose weight
If weight loss is the goal, the USDA recommends reducing your calorie intake by 500 to 1000 calories per day to achieve a safe weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week. That equates to between 1,822 and 2,322 calories per day for the average American man. However, drastically reducing your calorie intake can backfire, as you may become so hungry that you overeat.
Calories to gain weight
If you want to gain weight, the Cleveland Clinic suggests increasing your calorie intake by 300 to 500 calories per day—3,122 to 3,322 calories per day for the average guy, assuming his activity level remains constant.
Birth sex, age, genetics, body size, and daily activity level are the primary factors that determine how many calories someone requires. Men, on average, burn more calories than women because they are larger overall. Men are also genetically predisposed to have more muscle mass and less fat mass, affecting calorie burn.