How Many Calories Should I Eat A Day?5 mins 10 Nov 21
Calories. They’re funny things, aren’t they? We can’t see them and technically we can’t taste them or smell them, either. We just know they’re there, in everything we eat and most of what we drink.
We know that there’s more calories in a doughnut than an apple, and fewer calories in an undressed salad than a lasagne. But do we know how many calories we should be consuming a day? That’s where things can get tricky. So, let’s take a look at calories in more detail.
What is a calorie?
A calorie is a measure of energy, or more specifically, how much energy a food or drink provides. The more calories in an item of food or drink, the more energy it provides. Which is why it makes sense for someone running a marathon say, to drink high calorie energy drinks to help power them through the 26.2 miles.
Assuming we’re not running a marathon today, we won’t benefit from consuming such a high level of calories. Why? Because if we consume more calories in a day than our body uses up in the form of energy, it will store these excess calories in the form of fat.
If we’re trying to lose or maintain our weight, it isn’t helpful to consume too many calories.
What are our calorie needs based on?
The general advice in the UK is for an average, healthy female to consume around 2,000 calories per day in order to maintain her weight. For a man, it’s 2,500 calories a day.
However, there are other factors that might affect this such as exercising heavily – if we’re burning a lot of energy, such as in the example of a marathon, we’ll need more. If we’re very sedentary, we’ll need fewer.
Our age, weight and metabolism will all also affect our calorific needs. For example, a teenager with a fast metabolism and a healthy weight will probably need more calories than an older adult who might be a little overweight.
If we’re looking to gain weight, then we’ll need to consume more calories, if we’re looking to lose weight, then we should aim to consume fewer calories.
If I want to lose weight, how many calories do I need?
Losing weight can be simplified into an equation – to lose weight, we need to consume fewer calories than we burn. That way, we’ll be in a calorie deficit, and we’ll lose weight.
Of course, we all know that losing weight really isn’t that simple, and requires hard work, dedication and diet and exercise planning.
So if you’re looking to lose weight, the advice is to exercise (your Embodyment exercise plan is ideally suited to weight loss and maintenance!) regularly, at least three times a week and to reduce your calorie intake to around 1,800 calories a day.
Our nutritious recipes and meal ideas make it easy for you to count your calories each day. They all taste amazing and certainly won’t make you feel as though you’re on a “diet”. So enjoy, and don’t forget to let us know your favourites!