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# What is a Calorie Calculator?

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• Written By: Felicia Dye
• Edited By: Heather Bailey
2003-2018
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The units of energy people obtain from food are known as calories. People are commonly encouraged to be aware of and to manage their calorie intake and expenditure. A calorie calculator is a tool that can help people do this. Some help people by calculating how many calories they should consume within a day. Others help people by calculating how many calories they are burning.

Basal metabolic rate (BMR) refers to the minimum number of calories that a person should have every day. This amount depends on a number of circumstances including sex, age, and daily activities. If a person does not consume sufficient calories, she could experience unwanted weight loss or become malnourished.

To prevent this from happening, people sometimes use calorie calculators to determine their needs. A calorie calculator generally assesses the person’s individual information. Sex, for example, can play an important role in caloric needs. Height, weight, and age are also commonly assessed. This information can be fed into the calorie calculator, which can provide personalized feedback regarding a person’s needs.

Weight gain is one of the adverse effects of consuming significantly more calories than a person burns. Some calories are burned while a person is resting. This is commonly referred to as the resting metabolic rate (RMR). More calories are burned when people engage in various activities. A calorie calculator can help a person determine how many calories she is burning.

To do this, a person generally needs to supply input regarding her activities. She may be asked how many hours per day she spends resting and how many she spends engaged in activities. Some calorie counters can request a breakdown of activities and times. For example, a person may need to input that she jogs a certain distance or for a certain period and that she also swims a certain distance or for a certain period each day. Once she provides this information, the calorie calculator will provide feedback about the number of calories she burns.

Calorie calculators are available as small battery-operated instruments. A person does not have to spend money for these items however. Calorie counters are widely available on the Internet for free use.

A person who plans to buy or use a calorie calculator may want to do a bit of research about the tool. All calorie counters are not the same and some may provide inaccurate information. It is best to find out who is responsible for developing the tool and the method it uses to reach its conclusions.