Calorie info

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Calories per day

Saturday, January 9, 2010 at 9:44 PM filed under Diet & Nutrition postings
How Many Calories Do You Really Need?

 You'll need at least 3,130 calories to maintain your current weight and activity level.

 Of this, 1,840 calories are required to meet your body's basic energy needs. That amount (your resting energy expenditure) is what you'd use up if you did nothing but lie in bed all day.

 To lose about one pound per week, you'll need to cut back to 2,630 calories per day.

In theory, a pound of fat cells stores 3,500 calories. To lose that amount of fat, you'll have to eat 500 fewer calories per day than you need to maintain your current weight. It's most effective to do this by cutting down fat, because fat calories get stored in the body more easily than calories from carbohydrates or protein.

It's not very hard to cut 500 calories out of your diet. A half-cup serving of Ben & Jerry's ice cream packs a whopping 230 to 370 fatty calories, depending on the flavor (vanilla is at the low end, peanut-butter cup at the top). If you pick nonfat frozen yogurt instead, you'll get only 120 to 140 sugary calories. Leaving that ounce of cheese off your sandwich will trim 100 to 115 calories, and you can cut out 100 sneaky calories by flavoring your potatoes and other vegetables with spices instead of a tablespoon of butter.

To lose weight more efficiently and keep it off, you should also exercise regularly, burning excess calories and converting fat to muscle. You can expect to lose at least a pound per week on this lower number of calories; depending on how much you exercise, you could take off even more.

Some general notes:
 We use a formula based on data drawn from research on adults (see below). It may not give accurate results for children and teenagers.
 If you have trouble maintaining, gaining, or losing weight, you could have a medical problem, such as an overactive or underactive thyroid or constricted arteries. It's worth scheduling a checkup from your doctor.
 Certain medications, including corticosteroids and antidepressants, can also make you gain weight. If you're on such a drug, changing the amount you eat may not be enough to get you to your weight goal.

Formula published by Mifflin and colleagues, Am J Clin Nutr 1990
REE = (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) - (4.92 x age in years) + (166 x sex [males, 1; females, 0]) -161

For science sticklers, "calories" actually refers to kilocalories (kcals).

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