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Nutrition

How Many Calories to Eat per Day!

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What are Calories? A calorie is a unit that measures energy. Calories are usually used to measure the energy content of foods and beverages. In order to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than your body burns each day. We look at how many calories you should, ideally, eat each day, and alternative methods for reducing your intake.

 

Balancing calorie intake and usage lies at the crux of maintaining a healthy weight. Most of us know that if you eat as many calories as you burn, you’ll maintain your weight; eat less and you’ll lose weight; eat more, and you’ll gain weight.

 

Sounds simple enough? In theory, yes – in practice, not so much. As every individual uses and consumes a different number of calories at different rates, it can be difficult to get an accurate guideline that’s tailored to your exact lifestyle.

If you’re main objective is fatloss, I would recommend to avoid ‘empty calories’ for a healthy diet, as they provide energy but little or no other nutrients.

For example, compare a wrapped chocolate bar with two satsuma mandarines; while both options provide 50kcal of energy, the two mandarines provide fibre, water, vitamins, folate and phytochemicals, while the chocolate bar is predominantly sugar and fat.

Age, size, height, sex and lifestyle are all taken into consideration when it comes to calorie consumption, so it can differ immensely from one person to the next.

An accurate guideline on an individual’s calorie intake can only be provided after physiological testing, in a metabolic lab through the doubly-labelled water technique – but few of us have access to that method.

Instead, the BDA (British Dietetic Association) advises to follow the government Reference Intake guidelines, which are based on an average-sized individual doing an average amount of physical activity.

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As seen above, the recommended daily intake is 2,000 calories, which are broken into different categories.
If you’re an active person who exersice 3 time or more per week, I would recommend increasing this intake to 2,500 – 3,000, depending on the intesity of your routine(s).
You can also find some decent calorie calculators online, such as this one.

 

In order to lose weight in a safe and sustainable way, it is recommened to reduce calorie intake by 500 per day, alongside gradually increasing physical activity.

This should result in a weight loss rate of 0.5kg to 1kg each week.

How Do I Reduce Calorie Intake Without Starving Myself?

We can’t just stop eating altogether. The body need a healthy mixture of nutrition, vitamins and calories to function and to maintain an active lifestyle. That being said, there are a few evidence-based diet/lifestyle changes that have been shown to help people lose weight in numerous studies.

  1. EATING MORE PROTEIN!

    More protein can reduce appetite, cut cravings by 60% and increase the amount of calories you burn. When it comes to losing weight, protein is the king of nutrients.Adding protein to your diet is the simplest, most effective and most delicious way to lose weight with minimal effort.
    Protein is also the most filling nutrient, by far. One study showed that people who ate 30% of calories as protein automatically ate 441 fewer calories per day

  2. AVOID SUGARY SOFT DRINKS AND FRUIT JUICES!

    These are the most fattening items in the modern diet. Liquid calories dont get “registered” by the brain the same way as solid calories. For this reason, drinking sugary soda does not make your brain automatically compensate by having you eat less of other things instead.
    For Example: You’re having a milkshake or fruit juice for lunch instead of a meal – your brain will not register this calorie intake the same way, and so you’ll still be hungry, eat more or soon after and effectivly increase your calorie intake.

  3. DRINK MORE WATER!

    A highly effective methods that gets mentioned again and again – for a good reason!
    Drinking about 2 litres of water per day, can help you burn almost 100 more calories every day.
    When combined with a healthy diet, drinking more water (especially before meals) does appear to be helpful if you need to lose weight. Caffeinated beverages such as coffee and green tea are also excellent. Alternatively you can go for Green Tea Extract for a more concentrated and immediate result.

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