BistroMD Health Library

Get excited about reading again with fun and interesting tips from our experts, including The M.D., our dietitians, and our fitness expert. In our health library, you will find all of the information you need to achieve your goals of making a healthy lifestyle change. So, start reading and start losing!


Get excited about nutrition, and learn as you go with these information-packed resources on a wide variety of nutrition-centric topics! Our bistroMD experts review the importance of the macronutrients protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as well as how to make them work most efficiently for you.

Recommended Calorie Intake: Say What?


Many dieters are obsessed with counting calories, but many experts say it's not necessary. You do not need to frantically count every single calorie, but you should know your recommended calorie intake.  Unfortunately, the answer to that question largely depends on who you're asking.  Some diets claim 1200 calories is the recommended amount, while others suggest 2000. Add in suggestions from friends and family and all you are left with is—confusion.  

We’re going to clear this up for you because we want you to focus on your weight loss goals, not calorie counting.

Recommended calorie intake

You should aim to consume and burn an equal number of calories per day if you are trying to maintain your weight.  Consume more calories than you burn if you are trying to gain weight.  And lastly, consume fewer calories than you burn if you are trying to lose weight. 

The trouble starts when you try to count the calories you are consuming AND burning.  For example, how many calories are in a handful of chips?  Or, how many calories do you burn by walking up a flight of stairs?  The answer to both of these questions depends on the amount of potato chips and the size of the staircase. 

The tips below should help you determine your recommended calorie intake 

- Know how many calories you consume

The calories you consume include those that you eat and those that you drink.   Visit caloriecount to find out how many calories you are consuming from the foods you eat.  Being aware of your overall calorie consumption is the first step toward reaching your recommended calorie intake.

- The calories you drink 

Although the high calorie drinks—juice, soda or alcohol—may taste good, excessive and even moderate consumption of these sugary drinks can greatly increase your daily caloric intake.  A regular soda contains 140 calories.  If you drink a soda with every meal, for example, you are adding an extra 420 calories to your diet!  This can add up to a lot of extra body weight that could easily be avoided by switching to water instead of soda.

- The calories you eat 

Have you ever had a huge meal only to be hungry an hour later? Poor dietary choices can leave you feeling hungry and unsatisfied.  Eating healthy will make you feel fuller longer so you aren’t tempted to compensate later with empty calories and unhealthy choices.

- Know how many calories you burn 

Figuring out how many calories you’re burning can be tricky.  Luckily, there are some tools to help you. can help you figure out how many calories you’ve burned. However, when using these tools, remember to be truthful with yourself for the most productive results.

- Maintain a sense of balance

With our hectic and crazy schedules, it’s important to maintain a sense of balance. There are so many other stressors in our lives—weight loss should not be one of them. Understanding your recommended calorie intake is important, but that knowledge won’t do you any good if you don’t eat healthy.

But how do you find healthy food that won’t take hours of preparation and cook time?

If you’re looking for something fast and convenient without the hassle of frequenting the grocery store, bistroMD offers a diet delivery program that can help you successfully lose weight through healthy eating. We cook with the freshest ingredients and have over 200 recipes and a customizable menu so you should have no problem finding something to satisfy your taste buds.

Every bite you take follows this proven approach for healthy weight loss. Our program provides 1,100-1,400 calories daily with 40-50% total caloric intake from lean, adequate protein, 20-25% of calories from healthy fats, and 30-35% from complex carbohydrates.

It only takes a few weeks to start seeing results. You don’t have anything to lose, but the fat!

We have a men and a women’s program with the option to receive five-or-seven-days’ worth of healthy meals delivered to your door.

The two programs range from $130-$160 and EATS, our essential and tasty snacks are just $1.50 per snack. Women receive two snacks per day and men receive three snacks per day.

Remember to stay motivated and make gradual changes that fit easily into your lifestyle.  You can use your new knowledge of recommended calorie intake to make smarter choices to successfully reach your weight loss goals.

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