How Much Energy Should You Get?

Nutrition Centre

First off, what’s your activity level? Is it sedentary, low active or active?
  • Sedentary: Your typical daily routine requires little physical movement (e.g., sitting for long periods, using a computer, relying primarily on motorized transportation) and you accumulate little physical activity in your leisure time.
  • Low Active: Your typical daily routine involves some physical activity (e.g., walking to bus, mowing the lawn, shovelling snow) and you accumulate some additional physical activity in your leisure time.
  • Active: Your typical daily tasks involve some physical activity and you accumulate at least 2 ½ hours of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity each week. Moderate- to vigorous- physical activity will make you breathe harder and your heart beat faster.

Next, your sex and age will help you figure out roughly how many calories you need everyday.


*These values are approximations calculated using Canadian median heights and weights that were derived from the median normal BMI for different levels of physical activity. Your individual values may be different. The requirement for energy varies between individuals due to factors such as genetics, body size and body composition. These values are not for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Click charts to enlarge.

Physical Activity Recommendation

To prevent weight gain and accrue additional health benefits of physical activity, 60 minutes of daily moderate intensity activity is recommended in addition to the activities required by a sedentary lifestyle. This amount of physical activity leads to an “active” lifestyle.

Source: Health Canada. Estimated Energy Requirements.

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