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Feb 1, 2012

What should my daily intake of calories be?

An average man needs around 2,500 calories a day to maintain his weight. For an average woman, that figure is around 2,000 calories a day. These values can vary depending on age and levels of physical activity, among other factors.However, instead of focusing on how many calories you consume each day, to maintain a healthy weight you should:eat a healthy, balanced diet,take part in physical activities .

What are calories?

Calories are a measure of how much energy food or drink contains. The amount of energy you need will depend on:your age: for example, growing children and teenagers may need more energy your lifestyle: for example, how active you are
your size: your height and weight can affect how quickly you use energy .Women may need more calories if they are in the later stages of pregnancy or breastfeeding, as these use more energy.Other factors can also affect how much energy you burn, for example:some hormones (chemicals produced by the body): such as thyroid hormones some medications: such as glucocorticoids (a type of steroid used to treat inflammation)being unwell,the temperature of the environment,Physical activity.To maintain a healthy weight, you need to balance the amount of calories you consume through food and drink with the amount of calories you burn through physical activity. There are many ways to get active, from taking the stairs instead of the lift, to going for a walk in your lunch break.

Losing weight :

If you’re overweight or obese (your BMI or body mass index is more than 25), you should think about losing weight.You should see your GP, who may recommend a calorie-controlled diet to help you lose weight. They will ask you about your current diet, including what you eat and how much. They may then advise you to follow:a diet that reduces the number of calories you have every day by around 600, ora low-fat diet.

Gaining weight :

If you’re underweight (your BMI is less than 18.5), you should get advice from your GP. To gain weight, you need to eat more calories than your body uses each day.