How Many Calories Should You Eat in a Day? All you need to know.
How many calories should you eat in a day: If you’ve ever struggled with your weight, and statistically, that is very likely for at least one stage in your life, you will no doubt be familiar with calories.
When people try to lose weight, they’ll go to extreme lengths and will try all manner of fad diets and trends to burn fat, and while some of the methods they employ do indeed work, for the most part they’re not sustainable and they can even promote yo-yo dieting and weight fluctuations.
By far, the safest, most sustainable, and most natural way of losing weight, and maintaining your weight, is through calorie counting, which is what we’re looking at today. Everybody has their own unique ideas on how many calories they should be consuming each day, but what’s the truth? Well, that’s what we’re going to find out.
Here’s a look at how many calories you should eat in a day.
What is a calorie?
Before we can address the question of how many calories you should eat in a day, let’s begin by looking at what a calorie is.
Basically, a calorie is a unit of energy for the body. You see, the body needs energy to function and perform all manner of tasks and biological processes. Of course, before a big workout in the gym, or an endurance event, you need to fuel up on food to get plenty of calories for energy, but your body needs calories for things like breathing and digesting your food.
To get technical, a calorie is the amount of energy which is needed to increase the temperature of 1kg of water by 1 degree Celsius.
Why are calories important for weight?
We use calories to sustain ourselves and keep ourselves alive, yet once the body has done what is needed, rather than letting any surplus calories go to waste, it instead stores them as body fat.
Consuming more calories than the body needs for maintenance will result in accumulations of body fat over time, resulting in weight gain. On the flipside, consuming calories below maintenance will result in weight loss, as the body will tap into body fat reserves and use the calories stored in body fat for energy instead.
How many calories should you eat in a day?
Answering this question is a bit like answering somebody asking you how long a piece of string is. The truth of the matter is that there is no definitive answer because there are so many variables to consider.
Age, gender, size, genetics, and activity levels all play a huge role here. As an example, a male, 30-year-old 6ft 2-inch, 270-pound bodybuilder is going to need to consume a lot more calories than a 5ft 1-inch, 110-pound, 75-year-old retired woman who isn’t very active.
The thing to remember is that, for anybody looking to lose weight, you will need to create a caloric deficit and consume fewer calories than your body needs for maintenance. If you’re looking to gain weight, you’ll need to create a caloric surplus by consuming more.
A general guideline, however, is that women should aim for 2000 calories per day for maintenance, whereas men should aim for 2500 calories. Again, these are just guides and the exact numbers will vary hugely from person to person.