In an age where cheap junk food and fast food is pretty much always available, it pays to count calories.
In some ways, this is kind of a foreign concept. It sometimes feels like knowing how much to eat should be intuitive—something that our bodies just know.
But it isn’t, especially when you take into account that a lot of modern food is highly processed and filled with refined sugar.
In other words, it’s easier than ever to fill our stomachs with more sugar, calories, and fats than we actually need to thrive.
This is partly why 36.5% of adults are obese in the United States, and why an additional 32.5% are overweight.
When you add it all together, more than two-thirds of American adults weigh more than they should for optimal health—and it matters.
So let’s talk about how many calories we should all be eating on a daily basis, to optimize our health and stay as fit and fresh as possible.
The Basics: Figuring Out Your Daily Caloric Intake
The first thing to understand about counting calories is that most people have different calorie needs, based on factors like age, height, levels of physical activity, and current body weight.
Some people need more, and some need less.
As a general overall rough guideline, the recommended daily calorie intakes are:
- 2,000 calories for women
- 2,500 calories for men
But, keep in mind that this is a very rough guideline, and doesn’t really work for telling you exactly how many calories you should be consuming on a daily basis to meet your health goals.
To get more specific, it’s recommended that you use a calorie calculator, to figure out not only if your calorie intake is on-track for optimal health, but also to determine exactly how many calories you should be trying to consume on a daily basis.
You can also use a BMI calculator to get a rough idea of how healthy your current weight is, and if you need to make some changes.
The Calculator.net calorie calculator is a pretty general example of a working calorie calculator to help you find out, more specifically, how many calories you need.
For example, the above-mentioned general calorie guidelines for men say that men should consume about 2,500 calories per day.
But if we do a calculation on the above-mentioned calculator for a rather tall man who works a desk job, you’ll notice that the actual caloric content adds up to being different.
Here’s the information we put into the calculator to come up with the actual number:
Activity: Light exercise 1-3 times/week
Here’s what we get for specifics when we used this calculator to determine calorie intake for this individual:
Maintain weight: 2,960 calories
Mild weight loss (0.5 lb/week): 2,710 calories
Weight loss (1 lb/week): 2,460 calories
Extreme weight loss (2 lb/week): 1,960 calories
As you can see, this is a much more in-depth analysis of daily caloric intake, and helps us to determine a much better individual-case calorie level to settle on for daily dieting.
Just remember… The goal with calorie counting is to use it to help you meet your long-term health and wellness goals.
Making sure to regulate your diet, to keep it as healthy as possible (both in portion sizes and quality) will help you as you seek to become the healthiest, fittest, happiest human possible.