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How many calories should you actually be eating?

Posted on 02 August 2015

            When you are trying to manage your weight, whether you want to maintain your current weight, lose weight, or perhaps gain some weight, knowledge about calories is very important. Keeping track of and knowing how many calories you need to consume within a day is the gateway to seeing successful and consistent results. When becoming health conscious it is essential that you know how many calories you should be eating across the course of the day because every meal and snack makes a difference. You’d be surprised how much counting calories can make a difference.

            One big misconception amongst many people that are new to the healthy dieting world, is that they believe as long as you stick to your daily caloric limit, you can eat whatever you want and burn it off at the gym. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. An important factor when reaching for your goals or maintaining your weight is to eat healthy foods to make sure that each calorie counts. Try to stay away from packages or processed foods and make sure that each of your meals include lean protein (i.e. chicken, fish), healthy fats (i.e. avocado, chia seeds), whole grains (i.e. brown rice, whole grain bread), as well as fruits and veggies. Sticking to this menu will ensure that you feel full for longer periods of time and, most importantly, will make you feel good about yourself. Fruits and nuts make the perfect snack between meals and are fulfilling calories compared to chips or cookies. After you’ve disciplined yourself to sticking with fresh foods, you will notice that the thought of junk or processed foods will make you sick, and that in fact you really don’t crave it anymore.

            When calculating how many calories you should be eating, it is important to keep in mind that everyone is different depending on their current weight, goals, and gender. In order to find out what your goal weight is, you need to know your BMI (body mass index). In order to calculate your BMI, you can easily find a calculator on the internet, or you can calculate your BMI manually by: taking your weight in pounds and multiply it by 703, then divide your height in inches, squared. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 to 24.9. If yours is less than you should consider gaining some weight as you may be at risk of health issues. If yours if higher, you should lose weight to prevent health issues.

            If you’re someone that needs to gain weight, you should definitely consult with your physician. However typically one should consume about 1600-1800 calories a day with each of your meals being about 400-500 calories and total snacking about 400 calories a day.

            For those of you that want to lose weight, you generally can eat about 1200 calories a day to lose weight at a healthy pace. This is equivalent to about 300 calories per meal and 300 total calories for snacking. Don’t forget to drink lots of water and workout regularly.

            For you ladies that are at your goal weight, it is important to make sure you are eating enough so that you do not continue to lose weight. You should be eating about 1500 calories a day to maintain your healthy weight. This is equivalent to about 400 calories per meal and a total of 300 calories of snacks throughout the day.

  

 

Erika Alexandra

@erika_alexandra

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