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How much food do you really need in daily diet Plan?

Weight loss is on your mind all of the time. Because of your weight condition, you are constantly aware that you are probably eating too much or the wrong type of foods, right? It is a never ending reminder. In the first article in this series I talked about how much you are eating now. In this article, I am going to talk about how many food calories you actually need.

As you might guess, the amount of food that you need is based on both calories and nutritional content. In this article, I am only going to be talking about calorie content. For today, let’s just forget about the idea that you need a well-balanced diet. We all already know that we need to eat the right amounts of all different kinds of foods. Let’s take this one thing at a time. This article is about calories only.

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You can also imagine that the number of calories that you need is determined by how active you are. If you do nothing but watch TV and go to work every day, you are not going to need as many calories as someone that is also running 4 miles and lifting a set of weights every day.

Below is a table that shows the minimum food intake (quantity of food in calories) for people of each of three particular activity levels. Here is a quick explanation of the three activity levels:

Seated - lifestyle that contains only the light physical activity connected with typical day to day life.

Moderately dynamic - lifestyle that includes physical activity equivalent to walking about 1.5 to 3 miles per day at 3 to 4 miles per hour, in addition to the light Physical activity is usually associated with daily life.

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Dynamic - lifestyle that involves walks equivalent to physical activity more than 3 miles per day at 3 to 4 miles per hour, in addition to the light Physical activity is usually associated with daily life. The numbers in the table are estimated amounts of calories needed to maintain energy balance for various gender and age groups at three different levels of physical activity. By the way, energy balance means using all the calories you ingest in daily activity (or inactivity). The estimates are rounded to the nearest 200 calories and were determined using the Institute of Medicine equation.

47.2% for more than 2 cans each day.

Male Calorie Requirements by Activity Level

AGE SEDENTARY MODERATELY ACTIVE ACTIVE
4 - 8 1400 1400 - 1800 1,600–2,000
9 - 13 1800 1,800–2,200 2,000–2,600
14 - 18 2200 2,400–2,800 2,800–3,200
19 - 30 2400 2,600–2,800 3,000
31 - 50 2200 2,400–2,600 2,800–3,000
50 - Above 2000 2,200–2,400 2,400–2,800

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Written Reprint permission request pending.

So you may ask, so what? For many years, I could care less if someone gave me the above information. The difference is that this time, YOU have a weight problem. You need to estimate how much you are eating on a daily basis and find out how it compares with the above.

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In the last article of this series, I figured out that on a daily basis, that I ate about 1,866 calories per day. Looking at the table above, a guy my age (53) and level of activity (moderate) I should only be consuming 2,200 calories per day. So, in my daily program, I should be experiencing weight loss because I am using 234 more calories than I eat.

So what is the problem? Well the problem is that I did not include all of the truth of my daily diet. I forgot to include the extra slices of cheese and ham on my sandwich, Frito’s, and the occasional sweets.

OK, so let’s say that the real extra stuff I eat on a daily basis are:

Extra Stuff Frank Eats - Weekdays

FOOD ITEM CALORIES
Extra slice of provolone cheese 200
Extra slide of ham 50
1 Bag of tortilla chips 234
2 Cookies (store bought) 100
Total 584

So, NOW, I have a better idea of what I am REALLY eating. It happens this way. Often times, you do not count all of the things you actually eat. Now my Fat Formula comes out a bit differently. Apparently I am eating 350 more calories than I am using 5 times per week. Now this is getting really interesting. Don’t you think?

I know you are very serious about losing weight. If so, you need to do the math. Only when you know the facts, YOUR FACTS, can you know what to do next. Remember, at this point, you are not talking about changing anything……. either eating or activity. But you need to figure out how many calories going through your belly every day.

When you get your calorie numbers together, the whole story begins to take real shape. Stick with me, but do not make any changes in your life yet.