How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day?

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How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day?

Today almost any person has some concerns about how they look, and the better part of those concerns goes for their body shape. If you truly care about your physical form and are ready to work for it, you should approach your ration and eating habits seriously. It’s not hard to do it right; it just requires certain knowledge and effort. To start with, you should understand the basic principle of weight loss – you lose weight when you eat a bit less than you need. It’s all built around your calorie intake. So, here are the answers to a few questions you may have about it.

How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day?

There’s no simple answer to this simple question. The number of daily calories to be consumed depends on various factors, starting with a person’s gender, age, and the most frequently undertaken type of activity. By the way, genetics may play a crucial role there as well.

Generally, male adults who aren’t really into an active lifestyle should consume no less than 2000 calories, while the recommended consumption for those who lead an active lifestyle can be up to 3000 calories. Adult women, being typically less in weight, require fewer calories than men, e.g., the ones with a sedentary life should consume at least 1600 calories while the more active ones may need up to 2400 calories.

How Many Calories Should I Eat Not to Die?

It’s a funny question, but it’s something you should really know. Many people, women, in particular, get way too obsessed with their diet and sincerely believe they will get thinner if they eat less. It is not true, though. There is a certain minimum your organism should receive a day in order to function properly. And the name for this minimum is the basal metabolic rate. This term identifies the number of daily calories you personally require to literally not die – that is, to support and regulate all the vital processes in your organism.

Your actual calorie need is not equal to your basal metabolic rate. In percentage, that would be 100% and approximately 70% respectively.

How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day to Lose Weight?

Now as you know the daily caloric expenditure of your body and the caloric intake you need just to survive, you can calculate the number of calories you should eat a day to get slimmer. Take that 100% number and subtract 500 calories from it – that would be the approximate daily calorie consumption, which will allow you to lose weight. But make sure you stay within the limits of that 70% number. Don’t eat less than your basal metabolic rate shows you need.

Once you reach the weight you’ve been aiming at, don’t hurry to quit your diet. If you want to maintain that weight, you need to recollect your actual calorie need (that 100% number) again and stick to this consumption +/- 200 calories a day.

How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day?

Final Things to Keep in Mind

Remember the basic weight loss principle? There are certain recommendations related to it, which you should be familiar with:

  • Before you start your activities targeted at weight loss, you’d better calculate how much you actually should weigh. You can do that with the help of different formulas based on your height or waist circumference.
  • You won’t lose weight by dieting alone. You should start doing some physical activity to burn calories. It’s not just that exercising is good. There’s a more solid reason behind that – when you eat less, you risk getting your metabolism slowed down. Staying physically active helps you maintain the tempo of metabolic processes on a necessary level. Combine cardio and strength exercises to keep a balance between the rate of your metabolism and the number of calories burnt.
  • If you’re a woman and your height is less than 5 feet, eating less than the recommended 1600 calories a day is dangerous because it may lead to serious deficiencies.
  • When on a low-calorie diet, you still should watch the consumption of other vital nutrients. Learn the daily intakes of vitamins and minerals so that you could see when you don’t get enough of them. In case you’re not sure if you get enough, consider taking dietary supplements. Yet, don’t go crazy over supplements – they can’t substitute food (at least in this century).
  • All changes in a diet cause changes in the way you feel. That’s okay. Yet, if you start getting unusual headaches, dizziness, weakness, mood swings, visiting a doctor is a good idea.
  • Eat 4 or 5 times a day and don’t try to trick your body by skipping a meal. You will only make it worse.

So, with all these tips in mind, you are now well-informed about the peculiarities of dieting based on counting calories. In fact, there must always be a balance between exercising and dieting. But you should definitely give this low-calorie dieting thing a try, at least to see if it’s your thing or not.

References:

  • Putnam, Judy, Jane Allshouse, and L. Scott Kantor. “US per capita food supply trends: more calories, refined carbohydrates, and fats.” Food Review 25.3 (2002): 2-15.
  • Perry, Cheryl L., et al. “Changing fruit and vegetable consumption among children: the 5-a-Day Power Plus program in St. Paul, Minnesota.” American Journal of Public Health 88.4 (1998): 603-609.
  • Woods, Stephen C., et al. “Consumption of a high-fat diet alters the homeostatic regulation of energy balance.” Physiology & behavior83.4 (2004): 573-578.

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