How Many Calories Should I Eat?

Mar 18, 2021 |
How Many Calories Should I Eat

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Whether you’re a fitness and nutrition guru or a newbie, the concept of calories is likely familiar to you. How many calories you consume determines how much weight you lose, gain, or maintain and also influences how much energy you have.
A common question that many people wonder is how many calories do I need? While the nutrition labels on our food seem to indicate we need somewhere around 2000 calories, the answer actually isn’t quite so simple.

How Many Calories Should I Be Eating?

A calorie is a unit of measurement that is defined as the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. When we talk about calories in food, we are actually talking about the number of kilocalories a food item has.

One kilocalorie equals 1000 calories. The food that we consume provides our bodies with calories, and these calories provide our bodies with the energy we need to stay alive and stay healthy.

How many calories you should consume depends on many factors such as:

  • Your sex
  • Your age
  • Your height
  • Your current weight
  • Your activity level
  • Your health goals
  • And so much more!

If you are trying to lose weight, you’ll want to eat in a calorie deficit. This means burning more calories than you consume. If this is your goal, calculate the number of calories you need to consume to maintain your weight and cut 500 calories from this number.

This will allow you to safely lose about one pound per week. If your goal is to gain weight, then you should increase your calorie intake.

A woman who is moderately active should eat around 2000 calories per day if she is looking to maintain her weight. Women over the age of fifty require fewer calories, only about 1800 calories per day to maintain weight.

Women in their early twenties, however, require around 2200 calories to maintain weight. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding have significantly higher calorie needs.

In contrast, moderately active men require about 2600 calories per day to maintain weight. Men over the age of fifty need fewer calories, around 2400 daily, and men in their early twenties need more calories, about 2800 per day.

Not All Calories Are Created Equal

Excess calories are stored as body fat, and too much fat can cause health problems. It is important to understand your body’s caloric needs. Different types of food provide different levels of energy.

Protein and carbohydrates contain significantly fewer calories than fat, so when it comes to either increasing or decreasing your calories, this is an important factor to keep in mind. At the end of the day, a calorie is a calorie, and to lose weight, you need to consume fewer and burn more.

There are many different ways to follow a healthy diet and nutrition plan that gives your body what it needs to gain, lose, or maintain weight. Counting calories, portion control, regular exercise, and choosing foods rich in nutrients are important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


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