Question:

Hello, I am a 147 lb, 24 year old, male. I am very active in terms of working out and playing sports. How many calories should I eat daily to maintain my body weight and gain more muscle? I was 198 lbs and have dropped down to this weight. Thank you.

– Rafi H.

Answer:

Most equations would put your energy needs in the range of 2,800-3,000 calories per day, based on a height of 5 foot, 9 inches. Subtract 30 calories for every inch shorter or add 25 calories for every inch taller. That’s assuming your weight loss was intentional as you say you’d like to maintain now.

Your body doesn’t know such equations exist and your digestion, metabolism, genetics and hormones will act on their own. My recommendation would be to get a good look at how much you’re currently eating before making changes. You can do so using PersonalTracker from nutrihand.com or the Diet Analysis & Food Diary tool at happyforks.com.

Once you get a sense of your actual energy intake and carbohydrate, protein, and fat percentages, you can determine where you may need to make changes in macronutrient breakdown to build muscle.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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