When most people think of calories, they think about whether the food is fattening or not. In simple dietary terms, calories refer to the amount of energy offered by food. So, the definition of a calorie is the amount of energy required to increase the temperature of one gram of water through one-degree Celsius.
When people take in more energy than they require, they gain weight. On the other hand, when they take in insufficient energy, they lose fat, weight, and gradually muscle mass. The amount and type of food you have determine the number of calories you consume.
The daily calories for men and women are different, and there are other factors associated with it as well. So, here are all the details.
As per the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, women need about 1,600 to 2,400 calories every day, and men need about 2,000 to 3,000 calories. But this depends predominantly on age, size, lifestyle, health, activity level, and overall health.
So, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest the calorie intake to range from 1,000 calories per day for infants of two years to 3,200 per day for active men of 16 to 18 years. The metabolic rate of an individual slows down as they age. Their need for energy is reduced.
For the age 19 to 25 years, the suggested intake for women is around 2,000 calories per day. However, after 51 years, it falls to 1,600.
When and how they eat also make a difference in the daily calories for men and women because the body utilizes energy differently. The use of bodily energy depends on our activity level, the efficiency of the body to use energy, and age.
The human body needs the energy to stay alive. About 20 percent of the energy taken in is utilized for brain metabolism. The rest of the energy is utilized in basal metabolism, which is the energy required for the resting state, for functions like breathing, digestion, and blood circulation.
In the colder environment, energy is needed to maintain a consistent body temperature because the metabolism increases for heat production. The body needs less energy in warmer environments.
Also, the skeletal muscles need mechanical energy to move and maintain posture. Cellular respiration is the metabolic procedure through which the cells receive energy by reacting oxygen and glucose for energy, water, and carbon dioxide production.
The efficiency of converting energy from respiration into mechanical or physical power is based on physical energy, the food eaten, and anaerobic or aerobic muscle usage. In simple words, calories are necessary for fueling bodily functions, such as thinking and breathing, moving around, and maintaining posture.
Tips to control the daily calorie intake
Given below are the tips to burn energy and effectively lose weight. After all, counting calories is not only about what you eat, but how much you burn daily.
1. Eat a proper breakfast:
A breakfast of healthy fat and protein helps you to stay full for a long time and prevent snacking on junk food throughout the day.
2. Eat meals regularly:
It can help effectively burn calories and prevent mindless snacking.
3. Remember your veggies and fruits:
Veggies and fruits are healthy snacking options to bulk out the meals. These are high in fiber and nutrients and low in fat and calories.
4. Go for slow-burning calories:
The high-fiber carbs like healthy fats and legumes take a long time to release energy. Thus, you will take time to get hungry.
5. Daily exercise:
Daily exercise helps to burn off the extra calories to make you feel lighter. Taking a brisk walk daily is not difficult for most people and it does not cost anything. You can use a pedometer to challenge yourself. Even people in wheelchairs can look for exercises that boost their strength and heart health.
Food choices for controlled calorie intake
Keeping a check on calorie intake will not ensure a healthy diet because the effect of different foods is different on the body. After having carbs, insulin levels will increase significantly compared with eating protein or fats. Certain carbs, particularly, get in the bloodstream faster than others, such as glucose or sugar.
Remember that legumes are low carbs and refined flour is faster. Slow carbs are good for body weight control and general health. A 500-calorie meal of meat, fish, salad, and olive oil is healthy enough to keep hunger at bay for a longer time than 500-calorie snacks of popcorn and toffee. And that’s all! Hopefully, you have all the information you need about the number of calories you need to have daily.