Tuesday Tip: 2000 / 2500 cals per day?
You may have heard the recommendation that women need around 2,000 cals a day and men need 2,500? It’s a figure bandied about as the guidelines for health by the NHS and others – but is that really what you should be aiming for and where did it come from?
It actually came from a USDA study on calorie requirements which was then reduced by 20 percent (to cover a wider range). To further complicate things Public Health England then announced women should actually aim for 1800 cals.. confused? Yep me too and rightly so!
Sadly it’s not as simple as one number fits all. Your calorie requirement is influenced by height, age, gender, some
medical conditions, muscle mass and activity levels, so to suggest 2,000 cals would be appropriate for all women (or 2,500 for men) is ridiculous. I know personally that if I have 2000 cals a day I put on fat. If you’re trying to lose fat then your calorie intake will also need to be less.
So what should you aim for and how do you work it out? There are plenty of online calculators out there – you enter your details and it will give you an estimate of your basal metabolic rate (basic calorie requirement to function). Many will give you the option to specify how active you are – my advice, if you’re aiming to lose fat, is to opt for a lower activity level as most studies show we massively overestimate our exertion and activity levels. This will give you an initial calorie goal to aim for.
It’s not an exact science – you’ll need to try eating that calorie level for a few weeks and see how the body responds and then adjust it up or down accordingly.
At the end of the day if you’re trying to lose fat/weight and you’re not then you’re eating too many calories – regardless of what an online calculator tells you.
If you’re stuck feel free to drop me a message and I can help you work out a rough calorie goal for you 🤗
Happy Tuesday 🤗