When I first realized that I had to diet to lose weight I didn’t quite know where to start and I’m sure that many of you have the same dilemma. My first concern was not having a clue how many calories I currently took in and secondly, how many calories should I be taking in?
Well, I can’t count the many sources of recommendations I found or how they calculated their data but I found an easy chart with the Betty Crocker Cookbook: Heart Health Edition.
First of all it is important to state that the best source for caloric intake recommendations would be from your own dietitian, if you have one. Their professional advice will hands down trump the estimated guideline that I am about to share from the cookbook. The following is only an estimate of how to calculate the calories necessary to maintain your current weight. To lose weight, you will want to reduce intake from the number you receive and to gain weight, you’ll want to increase.
If you’re sedentary (inactive most of the time), multiply your current weight by 12. If you’re moderately active (exercise a few times a week), multiply your current weight by 14. If you’re very active (participate regularly in heavy exercise), multiply by 14-16.
I am rather sedentary and I weigh 179. This means to maintain my weight, I should be at 2148 calories per day. Because I want to lose weight slowly but surely I figure that 1800-2000 calories per day should be my target. I try to target around that range of calories and I try to increase the amount of physical exercise as frequently as I can.
It is important to be realistic in not trying to cut calories to the point of starvation. It’s also NOT healthy to completely give up on carbohydrates, fat, sodium, cholesterol or anything else but to use common sense in reducing those intakes to sane amounts.
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