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Are you eating the right amount of calories?

Balanced Diet

When we think about a weight loss regime the first thing that comes to mind is to cut down the calories. But it can be a tad bit difficult to figure out how many calories one must have daily.

The calorie intake will vary from individual to individual. To calculate the calorie intake different factors like age, activity level, and sex have to be taken into account.

Understanding the concept of calories:

The energy content of the food is measured in calories and you can call it a unit that is used to measure energy. If you are trying to lose weight then you have to consume fewer calories than what your body burns each day. If you are trying to gain weight then the reverse concept is applicable. But many factors have an impact on weight loss and weight gain like genetics, hormonal changes, age, medical condition etc.

How many calories one needs to take:              

As already mentioned, that the answer to the question of how many calories per day one must take is not the same for everyone. You have to consider the metabolic health of the person, his current weight, his height, age and other such factors.

When you are trying to lose weight, the focus has to be to reduce the intake of more calories. You can try and strike a balance by eating fewer calories and also increasing your activity levels so that you can shed that extra weight. But when you cut down the calories you have to make sure that your body gets all the required nourishment to avoid any adverse effects on the body due to poor eating.

The sustainability of the weight loss plan is very important. So, one must try small calorie reductions to ensure that there is sustainable weight loss. Some people follow stringent diets in which they take just 1000 to 1200 calories. This is not sufficient for some individuals and it can result in nutritional deficiency and other health issues the person may also not be able to maintain a healthy weight in the long run.

Average Calorie Requirement For Men, Women And Children:

Calorie Intake For Men:

The calorie requirement for men depends on many factors like their age, size, activity levels etc. Men in the age group of 19 to 30 years need 2,400 to 3000 calories per day. Men in the age group of 31 to 59 need 2200 to 3000 calories per day. Men who are 60 years and above need 2000 to 2600 calories per day.

Calorie Intake For Women:

Just like men in the case of women also the calorie intake depends on factors like age, activity levels etc. Women in the age group of 19 to 30 years need 2000 to 2400 calories per day. Women in the age group of 31 to 59 years need 1,800 to 2200 calories per day. Women who are 60 years and above need 1,600 to 2000 calories per day.

Calorie Intake For Children:

Calorie intake for children depends on the age and sex. Mentioned below is the table for the same:

For male children:

Age of Male childDaily calorie intake
2 to 4 years1000 to 1600
5 to 8 years1200 t0 2000
9 to 13 years1600 to 2600
14 to 18 years2000 to 3200

For Female children:

Age of Female childDaily calorie intake
2 to 4 years1000 to 1400
5 to 8 years1200 t0 1800
9 to 13 years1400 to 2200
14 to 18 years1800 to 2400

How Can We Cut Down Calorie Intake?

If you are keen to know how many calories per day? then you have to focus on an important thing. You must explore the options of cutting down the calorie intake for weight loss.

  • Avoid low-nutrition foods that are high in calories:

To start with you have to try and avoid low-nutrition foods that are high in calories. You need to list down all the stuff that you eat daily and then identify those foods that you need to exclude from your diet right away. For example, you can stop eating ice cream after dinner. If you are accustomed to having a soda with your lunch then you must stop the same right away.

  • Look out for low-calorie food options:

If you want to cut down calories then you have to swap the high-calorie foods with low-calorie stuff. Bid adieu to chips and have plain popcorn but make sure that you do not add any butter to it. Instead of having chocolates, you can always have fresh fruits. Instead of whole milk, you can switch to fat-free milk.

  • Small portion sizes can help in a big way:

Controlling portion size is very important if you want to cut down the calorie. Try to limit the amount of food that you take on your plate as this can help to cut down the calorie intake. Do not confuse serving size with the portion size. Also, avoid eating from the packet directly. Always take a small amount on the plate and then start eating.

  • Fill your plate with these nutritious foods:

It is important to eat healthy food if you want to cut down the calories. Make sure that you include green leafy vegetables and other veggies like carrots and radish in your daily diet. You must eat red meat in moderation. Instead of red meat give preference to lean meat like chicken and fish.

You must include whole grains in your diet as these grains contain lots of fibres. It is equally important to have lots of fresh fruits. Eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices. You also need to include small servings of healthy fats like nuts and seeds. Make sure that you drink lots of water and keep your body hydrated.

It is of utmost importance that you avoid processed foods that contain added sugars, and trans fats and are high in calories.

So, how many calories per day is required?

To get an idea about the number of calories that you need you can make use of an online calorie calculator. This calculator is based on the Mifflin-St Jeor equation and it takes into consideration factors like calorie needs, lean body mass, population data, genetics, medications etc.

The online calculator makes use of the user’s age, sex and activity level to determine the number of calories that you require daily to maintain your weight. In this calculator, you have to include your gender, age, height, weight and activity levels and click on calculate to get the number of calories that your body needs daily to maintain the weight.

Keep in mind that this calculator is just giving a general idea about the calories that you need. But many aspects may play a role in deciding how many calories your body needs.

Best Tips To reduce Calorie Intake :

If you want to lose weight at the earliest then how many calories per day can be a very crucial question.  To reduce your calorie intake some guidelines or tips can prove to be helpful.

  • Increase the protein intake:

To lose weight protein can be very important and you have to try and increase your protein intake. Proteins help to keep you full and you do not feel hungry fast. Proteins help to decrease cravings and hunger. High protein intake also helps to maintain muscle mass and it also helps in preventing weight gain in the future.

Eggs, meat, nuts, legumes, poultry etc are rich in proteins and therefore make sure that you include these foods in your daily diet.

  • Say no to added sugars and sugary drinks:

You love sipping that sweet soda or sugar-laden chocolate milk. These things taste yummy but they jeopardise your weight loss plans. You must limit the intake of beverages and drinks with added sugars. Keep in mind that the brain does not recognise liquid calories the same way it recognises solid calories and so even after having that large glass of chocolate milk you are going to feel hungry in a short while. Also having a lot of sugary beverages increases the risk of obesity.

Also remember that added sugar leads to health issues like heart issues, diabetes, liver problems etc.

  • Water is very important:

It is of utmost importance to keep your body hydrated and for this, you have to make sure that you drink lots of water. Drinking water before meals can aid in reducing calorie intake. Drinking more water is good for the brain and also it reduces the risks of kidney stones.

  • Stay away from refined carbohydrates and processed foods:

White rice, pasta, and white bread fall in the category of refined carbohydrates and these do not have bran and germ. We all know that fibre helps to keep you full for a longer time and helps in weight loss. Refined carbs are devoid of fibre and hence they can hamper your weight loss program. Therefore, it is better to avoid eating refined carbs and include carb sources that are rich in fibre and nutrients.

Fast food, packaged foods, and sugar-laden beverages come under the category of processed foods. These have refined carbs, sugar, salt, unhealthy fats, preservatives etc. So, if you want to lead a healthy life then it is important to avoid these processed foods.

You just cannot think of avoiding exercise:

When you reduce calorie intake it reduces the metabolic rate and this, in turn, increases the appetite. Reducing calories also results in muscle loss and this can harm the health.

Therefore, instead of cutting down calories drastically, it is better that along with cutting down the calories you also follow a daily exercise regime. You can try bodyweight exercises like push-ups at home or you can also consider cardio exercises like walking, jogging, and swimming or you may also consider resistance training exercises.

  • Connect with a reputed dietician:

It is always better to connect with a dietician who will take into account all the details like your weight, height, activity levels etc The dietician will work out the weight loss plan that is appropriate for you.

The Effects of Too Many Calories

Weight gain is a keyoutcome of eating too many calories. Your body needs sufficient calories to function. However, when you take in more than your body uses, it stores the surplus calories in the form of fat. Added calories are mostly stored in the form of triglycerides, which, when lifted up places your heart health at risk.

Calories play an important part in weight loss. Accordingly, if you want to lose weight then keep a watch on your calorie intake. Calculate the number of calories that your body needs. Subsequently, design a work out weight loss plan that can help you lose weight in a healthy way.

Risks for High Calorie Intake:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cognitive Impairment

You may choose to use Calorie Calculator to easily estimate the optimal calorie intake per day.

Calorie Countingas a Means for Healthy Life :

By merely understanding the essentials of your caloric consumption, you can effortlessly get the right count of calories you need to live a hale and hearty life.The significantaspect to eating the right amount of calories is to eat as per your macronutrient preference. If you are more into carbs, then it isimperative to have a balance of carbohydrates, fat, and protein.

It is recommended to consult a nutritionist for better result. This can help you eat the right amount of calories in a day. The expert can guide you with how many daily calories do you really need. An appropriate supervision of our calorie intake and use can help us be safe from countless diet related illnesses. Restricting calories severely can lead to a range of health problems. Most importantly, it keeps us active, fit and healthy.