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Health Tips

From tips on how to lose weight effectively to ways to combat boredom eating, this collection of informative articles covers a wide range of health topics that matter to real people, like you.

Recommended Calorie Intake

There is no need to completely cut calories if you are trying to lose weight. In fact, cutting calories entirely can make you gain weight. There is a happy medium between too many and not enough calories through this recommended calorie intake guide.

Recommended Calorie Intake

Recommended Calorie Intake [to Lose Weight]

Lately, calories have acquired a bad reputation. We blame them for obesity, we ban them when we want to lose weight, and then make them the sole reason behind our guilty consciences.

"If you're feeling bad about a piece of cake-it's probably because of all the calories." And if you're hoping to drop a few pounds, you count calories like crazy.

If we're not careful, it could become an obsession.

The real kicker? We need calories. Calories provide energy for our bodies and allow us to function on a daily basis. As long as you're not eating too many or too few, then calories can be your friend.

What we really need to know is the appropriate recommended calorie intake that suits your body's needs and lifestyle.

The recommended daily calorie intake that you should have in your diet varies. It all depends on your age, gender, height, weight, and the amount of exercise you do.

We're happy to provide some basic guidelines you can follow to ensure you're eating healthy, and meeting your recommended calorie intake to reach your goals.

First, let's start at the beginning.

Foods that contain calories include protein, carbohydrates, fat, and alcohol. If you haven't already heard how important protein is for losing weight and controlling your appetite, we've got you covered.

Beginning with protein, most dietitians recommend going above the normal protein requirements if you are looking to lose weight.

For females who are an average height, you should aim for about 120g of protein (spread out throughout the day) which is approximately 500 calories. Then you need about 30g of healthy fat in your diet, which would be equivalent to about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. This provides approximately 300 calories toward your recommended calorie intake. And lastly, about 100g of carbohydrates, which adds another 400 calories.

The grand total for ladies? 1,200 calories, in order to lose weight. If you active, then most likely your calorie needs will increase slightly. If you are not trying to lose weight, then you might want to aim closer to 1,700-2,000 calories per day.

What about you gentlemen? Let's determine your recommended calorie intake, too.

For men, usually the recommended amount of protein depends upon stature, but it's safe to start with a baseline requirement of 140g of protein each day. Think about a 5oz portion of meat. This is what you would require 4 times each day, and would give you approximately 600 calories.

You will need some fat with that, and so 40g of fat contains around 400 calories, and for carbohydrates, around 100g of carbohydrates provides 400 calories.

If we tally all that up-guys your daily recommended calorie intake to around 1,400 calories to lose weight. If you are not trying to lose weight, you could consume as many as 2,500 calories per day.

It's important to find that balance. If you are gaining weight, it's a good idea to cut back on your recommended calorie intake by swapping high calorie foods like cookies or pizza for lower calorie, healthy and still delicious options like an apple with lowfat string cheese, or grilled chicken kebobs.

We have to take a moment here and make sure of one, very important thing.

If you don't understand this one thing about calories and your recommended calorie intake, then you might make losing weight much harder than it has to be.

This is absolutely vital.

If your calories go too low, then this can be devastating for your metabolic rate. And your weight loss will slow and drag, and you'll lose vital muscle tissue.

We repeat - you never ever, want to consume only 500 calories in a day. You might have some pretty detrimental side effects, like hypoglycemia, or negative nitrogen balance, both of which are unhealthy, and can make you miserable while you are trying to lose weight.

There's really no need to starve yourself if you're looking to lose those pounds.

With a calorie controlled diet from BistroMD, calories are strictly controlled and yet the portions seem large. That way, you're eating fewer calories but you're still satisfied and energized.

When you exercise your body burns calories at a faster rate. That means your recommended calorie intake should be slightly higher than the average. You can also check with to be sure your body is getting the right kind of nutrients to make your exercise worthwhile.

Remember, if you consume the recommended intake amounts then calories can be your friend. Just forget about them, as they can easily sneak up on you, and stay for a while.

Sydney Lappe's Photo
Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on June 05, 2017. Updated on June 04, 2020.


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