How Many Calories Should I Eat Per Day?
Are you having problems with extra pounds and looking to adjust calorie intake to lose weight? Perhaps you are slim, and your goal is weight gain. Whether you want to increase, lose, or maintain weight, the key lies in optimizing your daily calorie intake.
Naturally, your next question is, “so, how many calories should I be eating a day?” The answer depends on many factors, and our quick guide will explain all details on determining your ideal daily calorie intake. Here’s what you need to know about counting calories!
What Are Calories?
A calorie is an energy unit. It measures how much energy you get from foods and drinks you consume, but also the amount of energy you spend.
You need to consume enough calories per day to perform your usual daily activities. That amount depends on height and weight, age, and many other factors. Going over the recommended calorie intake means you’ll end up with extra pounds. On the other hand, consuming a number of calories lower than the energy you spend will likely lead to weight loss.
How Many Calories Should You Eat a Day?
According to the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults should target their daily calorie intake from 2,000 to 3,000 calories. If you aim to adjust calorie intake to lose weight, don’t go more than 10-15% below the recommended limit.
Nutrition plans that limit your daily calorie intake to 1,200 calories or less could prove dangerous, especially for your long-term health. Always consult a registered dietitian, as they could assist in creating a balanced diet that suits your personal preference.
Calorie Needs for Women
The recommended calorie intake for a female depends on her age:
- For adult women up to 30 years, aim to consume 2,000 to 2,400 calories.
- The recommended calorie intake lowers for women from 31 to 59 years old – it goes from 1,800 to 2,200 calories.
- The average calories per day for females over 60 are from 1,600 to 2,000.
Although these are common limits, the number of recommended calories per day is highly individual. For example, if you are active, breastfeeding, or pregnant, you might need more energy.
Calorie Needs for Men
Males should stick to the following list of average calories per day:
- Consume from 2,400 to 3,000 calories if you are from 19 to 30 years old.
- Your calories consumed per day should be from 2,220 to 3,300 calories from 31 to 59 years old.
- Men aged 60 or older should consume 2,000 to 2,600 calories.
Calorie Needs for Children
Here’s a quick table on average calories per day based on the child’s age and sex:
Should You Count Calories?
Knowing more about the calories burned and consumed could help you achieve the targeted body weight. You can use a calorie calculator app on your smartphone or do it the old-fashioned way.
The dedication to counting calories depends on the individual. You don’t have to burden yourself, but knowing the basics would help you find the optimal amount of calories per day you require.
Factors That Affect Your Target Calorie Intake
How many calories should I be eating a day? It’s hard to give an exact answer, so you’ll need some trial and error. Identifying the optimal intake depends on the following:
- Sex. Male bodies require more calories on average.
- Body figure. Tall people and fitness enthusiasts could use additional energy.
- Activity level. If you are highly active during the day, your calorie intake to lose weight would be higher compared to mostly sedentary individuals.
- Age. Older people tend to need fewer calories.
- Health conditions, hormones, medications. Any important health-related information might affect your target calorie intake.
How to Adjust Your Daily Calories?
It all starts by determining your goal. Most people aim to gain or lose pounds, so here are some quick tips on both!
To Gain Weight
It’s hard to believe, but adding pounds is equally difficult as losing them. Apart from using a high-quality prepared meal delivery in Sarasota, consider the following:
- Go with energy-filled foods. That includes red meat, healthy fats, and whole grains.
- Eat more often. If you eat four times instead of three, you’ll consume more calories.
- Always look for ways to add more calories. For example, seeds and nuts are an excellent addition to a snack.
To Lose Weight
Identifying the right quantity of calories to lose weight is difficult. You need to burn more calories than you consume. The main tips to lower calorie intake include:
- Don’t eat processed and unhealthy foods. These won’t do much good for your health, and they are often loaded with calories.
- Don’t forget nutrients. You need optimal nutrient intake to avoid endangering your health and wellness. Don’t hesitate to consider gluten-free meal prep and similar services if necessary.
- Be careful not to go extreme. The bare minimum should be 1,200 calories per day, but consider the daily quantity to be about 10-15% lower compared to your recommended calorie count.
A Few Basic Weight Loss Tips
Apart from identifying the required calories to lose weight, here are some more tips to help:
- Stick to mindful eating. Always focus on food and its smell and taste while eliminating distractions during meals.
- It never hurts to eat fruits and veggies. The fiber will make you fuller while keeping the calorie intake low.
- Your home should be filled with healthy foods. And don’t forget to throw out unhealthy food to improve the odds of resisting food cravings.
If you aren’t a food expert or have a busy schedule, consider a meal prep service. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with top-quality keto meal prep in Sarasota. Our team has a wide range of meals and menus to suit your preference. Contact our experts and have fresh and tasty food delivered every day.