You probably didn’t know there are 56 calories in an ounce of roast rabbit meat, and neither did your cave-dwelling ancestors, but they did know something about eating for energy and wellness.
Hunters and gatherers of the past had active lifestyles, so they could eat as much as they liked. Daily walking, running and climbing meant they had to consume a lot more calorie-rich foods than your average office worker does today.
In fact, physical activity has more impact on your specific caloric needs than any other factor, including age, sex or body size. And that makes sense, since calories are used for measuring heat energy.
Specifically, one calorie is the energy required to raise the temperature of one gram of water by 1ºC (1.8ºF). It is equal to 4.184 joules. The more active you are the more energy you use and the more calories/joules you need.
In general, men require more calories per day than women. But consider a man and a woman of the same age, height and weight. If the man works at a desk, getting little or no exercise, while the woman exercises daily, her calorie requirement will top his by 20% or more.
It’s said that men aged 19 to 30 years old need to consume about 2,400-3,000 calories per day, those 31 to 50 require 2,200-3,000, and at age 51 and above they need 2,000-2,800. But again, the real reason the numbers change with age is that younger men are generally more active and have greater muscle mass than their older counterparts.
To determine exactly how many calories you need to consume each day, you can use a calorie calculator. It will tell you what’s required to maintain your current energy usage based on age, height, weight, sex and activity level.
However, there is one other factor to take into account. If you want to gain/lose weight, you need to create a caloric surplus/deficit of 500 calories per day for each pound of change desired per week. This can be accomplished by adjusting your exercise and diet routines accordingly. Hiking and roast rabbit anyone?
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