How Many Calories Per Day Should You Eat?
How many calories per day should you be eating in order to lose weight?
This is a question just about everyone struggling with their weight wants a definitive answer to.
Well counting the calories you eat everyday won’t make much difference to you or your weight, but looking at the type of food & quality of calories that you consume will have a more dramatic effect.
How Many Calories Per Day For Men & Women?
Whilst the answer therefore is far more complex than just providing a general number, the following “calories per day” figures provided for men & women to maintain their weight was published by the NHS UK.
Calories Per Day For Women: 2,000Kcal (8,400Kj)
Calories Per Day For Men: 2,500Kcal (10,500Kj)
- Kcal is short for Kilo-calories (usually referred to as just calories)
- Kj are Kilo-joules which is a measure of energy.
- These values can vary depending on age, metabolism and levels of physical activity, among other things.
Not All Calories Are Equal
It is often said that to lose weight all you need to do is ensure that the amount of calories you ingest is less than the amount you burn.
Hence the popularity of calorie counters & calorie counting but the calorie issue is far more complex.
In fact counting calories is by all accounts an outdated practice for losing weight.
A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine concluded that eating fewer calories and avoiding fatty foods is not the best way to lose weight.
Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, lead author of the study at the Harvard School of Public Health, went on to say that “What you eat makes quite a difference. Just counting calories won’t matter much unless you look at the kinds of calories you’re eating.”
The doctor also confirmed that “There are good foods and bad foods, and the advice should be to eat the good foods more and the bad foods less” and that it’s also not true that eating bad foods in moderation won’t harm as it will.
This Is What 200 Calories Looks Like
|200 Calories of Good Food||200 Calories of Bad Food|
|Broccoli (600g serving)||Cheese Burger (75g)|
|Kiwi Fruit (330g)||Potato Crisps (37g)|
|3 Eggs||Glazed Doughnut (50g)|
|Tuna (100g)||Doritos (40g)|
|Avocado (125g)||M&M’s (41g)|
|Celery (1425g)||Coke (500ml)|
Clearly from the above example, eating 200 calories M&M’s is nowhere near as healthy & nutritious as 200 calories of broccoli.
Furthermore, the broccoli will probably leave you feeling fairly full & satisfied (even if it’s not your favourite dish), whilst the M&M’s will most certainly not leave you feeling satisfied.
In fact it would be a struggle not to finish off the whole packet of M&M’s, whereas I doubt whether you’ll be craving more broccoli.
2,ooo Calories Of Bad Food Looks Like This…
This 2,000 calorie delight from McDonalds consists of
- Chicken & bacon burger (750 cals)
- Fries (340 cals)
- Coke (200 cals)
- McFlurry with Oreos (690 cals)
The Myth About Counting Calories
Conventional wisdom says that if you consume less calories per day than you burn in a day, you will lose weight.
Unfortunately there are “good” calories & “bad” calories which means that not all calories are equal, which renders this assumption, or hypothesis, a myth.
The good news however, is that you can get rid of your calorie counting apps, your Fitbits that measure energy expenditure or worry about calculating the exact calorie deficit between doing a step class & downing a high protein smoothie afterwards.
The calorific information provided by these high tech gadgets won’t help you lose weight, mainly because not all calories are equal, however consuming foods that consists of quality calories may.
Therefore a better weight loss strategy would be to focus on eating calories that come from real, nutrient dense foods that are sugar-free & of the non-processed variety.
This small change will allow you to practically eat until you are full without having hunger cravings or feeling like you want more without having to worry about your calories per day consumption.
Still Think a Calorie Restrictive Diet Will Help You Lose Weight?
- Eating a calorie restrictive diet will in all likelihood not only leave you feeling hungry, moody & depressed, but also with little to show in terms of weight loss which will only make you feel more depressed.
- In fact the more you reduce your intake of calories per day, the greater the chance of you not being able to stick to such a diet.
- This is because without consuming a sufficient amount of nutrients you will feel hungry and generally give in to the cravings.
- The really sad part of it is that you most probably won’t even lose any weight embarking on such a poor eating plan.
- Furthermore, dramatic calorie restricted diets are no fun at all which makes them extremely difficult to adhere to and if you do manage for a short while, you’ll probably revert to your old bad eating habits after a short period of term.
In conclusion, whilst nobody wants to be overweight, sticking to the “calories in must be less than calories out” myth won’t help you as much as a nutritionally sound eating plan will.
Eating real, nutrient dense food, found in LCHF diets such as the Paleo diet, has helped many people lose weight & enjoyed renewed feelings of youthful vigour.
A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2008, that was conducted by Osterdahl M, et al resulted in a group of volunteers experiencing significant weight loss after intervening their usual diets with a Paleo (Paleolithic) diet for a duration of 3 weeks.
- It’s therefore probably better to forget about the whole calories debate & worrying about restricting your calorie intake.
- However, to manage your weight & health, you should be worrying about the quality of food you put into your body
- Make sure your eating plan involves eating food that is fresh, rich in nutrients, free from sugar & not of the processed variety.
To make it easier for you to stick to this healthy eating plan…