From the time I saw my first patient as a student to my private clients now, the question of ‘how many calories should I eat?’ has been asked almost every day.
A calorie is just a measure of energy – you have more than you need – you gain weight, you have less than you need – you lose weight. But trying to figure out how much the individual requires is pretty much a minefield.
Well, so the basics go like this – a man requires 2500 calories/ day and a woman 2000 calories/day. This figure is based on the average population, but this really is just a VERY basic starting point.
The amount of calories (or energy) someone needs depends on their age, weight, sex, genetics, muscle mass, body fat, mental status, temperature, job, exercise routine and health. So the idea of creating just 2 figures for the entire population is ludicrous.
I have seen someone maintain weight at just 1000 calories/day and on the other scale of the spectrum someone lose weight at 3500 calories/day.
So instead of aiming for an exact calorie count to match your goals – you NEED to listen to your body.
Start with these ‘standard’ figures and after 1 or 2 weeks if you haven’t met your goals then change your intake by 200-300 calories/day. Then, wait for a further couple of weeks and reassess.
If you would like more tailored advice then please contact me for a consultation.
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