Our bodies continuously require a steady amount of food to stay healthy. All functions in our body depend on the nutrients that food provides us with, such as vitamins, proteins, minerals, and fats. These nutrients should all form part of your daily diet to ensure your immune system is able to fight off pathogenic microorganisms, as well as to provide all other systems in your body can efficiently work, at a cellular level. One problem that many people face is that they do not know how much they should each in a single day. We often read about the importance of food and nutrients, but do you really know how many calories you are supposed to eat to stay healthy, but also to ensure you do not suffer from weight-related problems, such as become obese or underweight.
While specific guidelines have been provided to assist the general population in determining how much calories they need to consume per day, there are more to ensure you adhere to the right type of diet than simply counting calories. Apart from these factors that need to be accounted for, other variables also need to be taken into the equation when looking at how much calories you need to eat. Your gender, weight, and weight management goals all play a part, as well as your activity level. Let’s take a closer look at how you can determine the right amount of calories to consume daily, and what other factors you need to be concerned about when it comes to a healthy diet.
General Recommendations For Daily Caloric Intake
Let’s start by looking at how much calories you should really be consuming per day. Many studies have been performed to provide more accurate data on this topic. Generally, the following recommendations are made:
- Women are advised to consume a daily diet that consists of approximately 2,000 calories.
- Men are advised to consume a daily that consists of approximately 2,500 calories.
These are not minimum or maximum recommendations for either gender. Men usually feature larger body structures than women, which is why they are advised to consume more calories than women. There are, however, many factors that can alter this particular requirement of the body and a specific individual.
An obese person who is trying to lose weight, for example, need to consider lowering their daily caloric intake. It is generally recommended that a person trying to lose weight requires reducing their daily caloric intake by approximately 500 calories in order to lose around half a kilogram of body weight in a single week. This, however, does not guarantee weight loss – if your daily caloric intake exceeds your daily energy expenditure, you gain weight. When the opposite is true, you lose weight.
On the other hand, when a person is trying to build more muscle mass after starting a vigorous training program, they will most likely need to increase their daily caloric intake to support their new routine. High-intensity training causes more energy expenditure, which means there becomes a more significant gap between calorie intake and output. When the person does not increase their calorie intake, then they will lose weight instead of gain weight in the form of muscle mass.
Other Important Factors That Should Be Accounted For
Most people tend to care a lot about the number of calories they consume each day, especially if there are trying to lose weight. While it is essential to look at your caloric intake in order to ensure you can lose weight effectively, it is important to note that other factors need to be looked at when trying to lose weight, gain weight or simply maintain a healthy weight.
Nutritional values of the food you consume are one of the most important factors that you need to look at. Eating a packet of sweets that cause you to consume 200 calories is completely different from eating a plate of vegetables that holds a 200-calorie value. The sweets will not have any vital nutrients that your body needs, while the vegetables will be able to provide your body with minerals, vitamins, amino acids and even healthy fats. This holds much more value to your body than the sugar and other artificial ingredients that are used to manufacture sweets.
This is the reason why we recommend considering the calories you consume each day, but not in such a way that you look at it as “a calorie is a calorie.” Look closer at what you eat – consider the value that each food item you want to consume has for your body before eating it. If you find that what you are about to eat will not give you any type of nutritional value, then instead opt for something that is healthier and richer in essential nutrients.
We need to eat a certain amount of food every day to support different parts of our body. Our gastrointestinal tract absorbs nutrients found in food to assist with these functions. Knowing how many calories to consume each day is essential for staying healthy and managing your weight more effectively. This, however, is not the only factor about your daily food consumption that you need to look at. We provided a complete overview of how you can calculate your daily caloric needs in this guide, and we looked at factors like weight goals and nutrient intake that should also be considered important.