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How Many Calories Should I Eat?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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How many calories should I eat? The number of calories you should eat depends on your age, activity level, sex, body type, etc. If your goal is to lose weight you need to be in a caloric deficit.  Being in a caloric deficit requires you to burn more calories than you consume.

Calories in vs calories out seems to be a simple theory on weight loss. But it is not that simple because there are other factors that can affect the calorie in vs calorie out theory. And those things can be genetics, hormonal imbalances, medical diagnosis, age, etc.

How many calories should I eat? Photo credit: iStock- Prostock-Studio

Here are the Dietary Guidelines For Americans on daily calories that is recommended on how many calories you should consume to maintain your body weight based off age and sex.  It is important to know that the more active you are the more calories you will need to consume. And if you are pregnant or breastfeeding you will require more calories than the average person needs.

Female

19- 30 Years of age- 1800-2400 calories

31-60 Years of age- 1600-2400 calories

Over the age of 61- 1600-2400 calories

Male

19-30 Years of age- 2400-3000 calories

31-60 Years of age- 2200-3000 calories

Over the age of 61- 2000-2600 calories

What is a calorie?

A calorie is a unit that measures energy, and it is used to measure the energy content of foods and beverages.

If you have a goal of losing weight you need to cut your daily calories and the best way to reduce your calories is the following:

  • Drink more daily water as drinking water will help suppress your appetite, make you eat less food and help you consume less calories.
  • Reduce sugary drinks that contain a high number of calories such as drinking soda, fruit juices and sugar sweetened beverages. The added sugar in these drinks can cause heart disease, type 2 diabetes, liver problems, etc.
  • Eating more daily protein can help curb your appetite. Eating protein snacks can help decrease your hunger and appetite. Those protein foods are eggs, meat, chicken, nuts, seeds, legumes, etc.
  • Reducing your intake of ultra processed foods helps to limit a lot of empty additional calories from it.

One of the biggest weight loss tips is consuming fruits and vegetables with each meal. Why? Because it is low in calories and high in nutrients which will help suppress your appetite and make you eat less food.

The Bottom Line is the number of calories you should consume if you want to lose weight, gain muscle depends on your activity level, age, body type, metabolic health.

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References

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  5. Jeong JN. Effect of Pre-meal Water Consumption on Energy Intake and Satiety in Non-obese Young Adults. Clin Nutr Res. 2018 Oct;7(4):291-296. doi: 10.7762/cnr.2018.7.4.291. Epub 2018 Oct 31. PMID: 30406058; PMCID: PMC6209729.
  6. Stribiţcaia E, Evans CEL, Gibbons C, Blundell J, Sarkar A. Food texture influences on satiety: systematic review and meta-analysis. Sci Rep. 2020 Jul 31;10(1):12929. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-69504-y. PMID: 32737349; PMCID: PMC7395742.
  7. Vreman RA, Goodell AJ, Rodriguez LA, Porco TC, Lustig RH, Kahn JG. Health and economic benefits of reducing sugar intake in the USA, including effects via non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a microsimulation model. BMJ Open. 2017 Aug 3;7(8):e013543. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013543. PMID: 28775179; PMCID: PMC5577881.
  8. Moon J, Koh G. Clinical Evidence and Mechanisms of High-Protein Diet-Induced Weight Loss. J Obes Metab Syndr. 2020 Sep 30;29(3):166-173. doi: 10.7570/jomes20028. PMID: 32699189; PMCID: PMC7539343.
  9. Kohanmoo A, Faghih S, Akhlaghi M. Effect of short- and long-term protein consumption on appetite and appetite-regulating gastrointestinal hormones, a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Physiol Behav. 2020 Nov 1;226:113123. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2020.113123. Epub 2020 Aug 5. PMID: 32768415.
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  12. Dietary Guidelines For Americans- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 and Online Materials | Dietary Guidelines for Americans
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