Q. I read a lot of nutrition stories that base suggested daily servings of certain foods on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. Is that a healthy average calorie intake for most women?
A. The amount of daily calories you should consume depends on several factors. These include your age, your current height and weight (which are used to determine your body mass index, or BMI), and your activity level. That last item is often overlooked, but it is very important. A woman who exercises for an hour or more a day will burn many more calories than a very sedentary person. If both those women consume 2,000 calories, the active woman may actually lose weight while the sedentary person may gain weight, even if they are the same age, height and weight. A smaller person theoretically needs fewer calories than a larger person, though again, a persons activity level must be considered.
For many women, a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet is a good starting point if they want to maintain their current weight. If you want to lose weight, aim for 1,500 calories per day. If you're unsure about the right calorie intake for you, talk with your doctor or perhaps a dietitian. There are many online calorie calculators that can give you a good estimate, too. The American Cancer Society has an easy-to-use calculator that will give you a specific calorie goal based on gender, age, height, weight, and activity level. It can be found at http://bit.ly/1iaEIbd.
Recommended servings under a 2,000-calorie-per-day plan include two cups of fruit, 2.5 cups of vegetables, six ounces of grains, 5.5 ounces of lean protein and three cups of low- or fat-free dairy products.
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|Title Annotation:||ASK DR. ETINGIN|
|Publication:||Women's Nutrition Connection|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2016|
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