How do nutritional requirements 'scale'?

This is something I’ve wondered for a while, but trying out MyFitnessPal recently reminded me of it because they handle it differently to how I expected.

If you imagine these four scenarios:

  1. Person A: someone with quite low calorie needs (short/small), normal day and maintaining weight.
  2. Person B: higher needs (tall/heavy), normal day and maintaining weight.
  3. Person B: day of heavy exercise.
  4. Person B: cutting calories to lose weight.

How do requirements for protein (net and individual amino acids), vitamins and minerals scale between those examples?

So for instance, would you tend to think you need more protein if you work out heavily on a day, or just more energy? Is pretty much everyone running a significant calorie deficit nutritionally deficient by default? And do things like calcium requirements scale with size/calorie needs, or are fixed for every adult? (MFP answers, by the way, are yes/no/fixed.)

(Asking here because I like you guys, it’s the sort of nutritional geekiness I think Huel themselves must think about, and it has some bearing on how Huel is used.)

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This could be a 10,000 word essay so I’m going to keep it short. Protein will differ based on calorie needs and the amount of physical activity undertaken. It will also differ depending on the type of exercise.

There’s no set rule for all the vitamins and minerals but generally needs differ more between males and females rather than weight e.g. iron. Vitamin D needs will depend on how much time you spend in direct sunlight and calcium requirements will likely be higher if you consume a lot of dark leafy greens which can affect calcium’s absorption.

Being in calorie deficit can make it harder to get all the nutrients you need simply because you are eating less. The trick is too eat foods with a high nutrient density but low calorie density e.g. vegetables to get all your nutrients in fewer calories.