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Recommended Calorie Intake

Almost every single article on health and weight loss advises people to make sure that they do not exceed or consume less than their recommended calorie intake on a daily basis. However, most people are not even aware of what the term exactly means, whereas others, who may know its meaning, have no idea what their recommended calorie intake per day is. Moreover, just knowing what a person’s daily recommended calorie intake is may not be sufficient; people who want to lose weight should make it a point to learn how many calories from fat they can consume in a day. Similarly, those who are into body building and are working out, to build their muscle mass may need to information on recommended protein intake. Hence, recommended calorie intake guidelines may vary from person to person, depending on their age, gender, body type, level of physical activity and so on.

There is something known as a Basal Metabolic Rate, which refers to the minimum number of calories, required to power the body, even in a state of rest. In simple words, the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) refers to the energy that is used up by the body, to perform the most basic functions, such as respiration, beating of the heart and maintenance of the normal body temperature. Anywhere between 60% and 70% of a person’s daily recommended caloric intake usually includes the BMR. In most normal people, the BMR peaks at the age of round 20, i.e., the body burns the most number of calories for basic functions at that age. Thereafter there is a slow decrease in the BMR, by around 2% or so, per decade. This decline is usually caused by factors such as reduction of physical activity and the subsequent loss of muscle tissue. However, the BMR varies from one person to the other. Fortunately, it is possible to refer to a recommended calorie intake chart, for different type of people.

What is the recommended calorie intake for men?

It is a well known fact that most men have a higher metabolic rate, as compared to women. This means that a man would probably burn more calories performing the same task, as compared to a woman. Hence, it is only natural that a man would need more calories in the day, to perform the most basic day to day functions. Health and fitness experts claim that men need a minimum of 2,000 to 2,200 calories a day, i.e., if they are only trying to maintain their normal weight and in case they do not follow a work out routine. Men, who exercise, can consume a higher number of calories, without gaining any weight. However, those men who want to lose weight will need to consumer fewer calories, or burn a certain number of calories a day, by exercising.

What is the recommended calorie intake for women?

Women tend to be a bit strict when it comes to their diet, as their BMR is generally lower than men’s. Hence, it is not uncommon to see a female weight watcher cut down on the number of calories she consumes each day, by eating less than what she normally does, or by eating mainly those foods that are low in calories. There are several women who consume no more than 1,200 calories in a day, even though they work out. However, before following any diet plan, it is absolutely essential for all women to realize that consuming less than 1,500 calories in a day can put a considerable strain on their nutritional requirements. Therefore, on average, the recommended calorie intake for women could be anywhere between 1,700 and 2,000 calories each day, in the form of basic energy.

What is the recommended calorie intake for pregnant women?

In the earlier days, pregnant women were advised to “eat for two”, since their body needed the extra calories, to support the growth and the development of the baby. However, women have now realized that increasing their food intake by double is not right, as excess weight gain can be quite harmful, even in pregnancy. Moreover, doctors usually advise women to gain no more than one pound in a week. Doctors usually advise pregnant women to consume about 300 to 400 extra calories a day. Hence, the recommended calorie intake for pregnant women is between 2,000 and 2,500 calories each day. However, this is only in case of singleton pregnancies; women who are pregnant with twins need to consume a higher number of calories.

What is the recommended calorie intake for teenagers?

The number of calories required by a teenager on a daily basis will vary, as it depends on several factors, just like in the case of adults. Since there are many physical and hormonal changes that take place within a teenager’s body, there are several of them who end up gaining weight rapidly. This in turn could cause a teenager to consume fewer calories than is required or recommended. In fact due to growth and the changes that a teenager’s body goes through, they usually require more calories than is expected. Based on factors such as gender, height, weight, age, metabolism and physical activity levels, the recommended calorie intake for teenagers could be anywhere between 1,600 and 2,400 calories each day.

What is the recommended calorie intake for children?

As children grow, the number of calories they need changes. Till the age of six months, the daily recommended caloric intake for a baby girl is between 515 and 645 calories, whereas for baby boys, this goes up to 545 and 690 calories. From seven months to a year, girls should consume between 765 and 865 calories, while boys should get between 825 and 920 calories each day. As the child grows, the daily recommended caloric intake also increases.

What is the recommended calorie intake to lose weight?

Since 3,500 calories make one pound, a person needs to burn that many calories to lose a pound of weight. Hence, based on how quickly a person needs to lose weight, the number of calories needs to be adjusted accordingly. For example, if a woman, who’s daily recommended calorie intake is 1,700, wants to lose a pound in a week, then she will either need to consume no more than 1,200 calories in a day, or she can consume 1,700 calories and work out, so that she burns 500 calories during a single session. There are some women who reduce their daily caloric consumption by around 250 pounds and make sure that they burn around the same number of calories while working out. Hence, people who are following a low cal diet, as well as a workout regime, normally lose weight at a faster pace. However, since everyone’s body type is different, it is best to get information on the daily recommended carb intake too.

How to calculate recommended calorie intake?

There are several ways in which people can access a recommended calorie intake calculator, which will help them know how many calories they need to consume, so that they can lose weight or continue to maintain their current weight. Important information like gender, height current weight and age, etc., are assessed by this calculator, before it tells a person how many calories he or she should have each day.

Submitted on January 16, 2014