One of the most common questions people will have when it comes to getting (or staying) in shape is how many calories should I eat? While this isn’t always as straightforward as it might seem, there are general guidelines in place that can help you identify a healthy range for your caloric intake based on your lifestyle and fitness goals. Check out this calorie calculator.
But what does this range look like? And how can I know which calories will be the best for me overall? Here, we’re taking a closer look at how many calories the average person should consume in a day. We also discuss the importance of balancing your caloric intake with how many calories you burn and offer some practical tips for how you can burn calories even while at work. Staying fit while remaining productive—what could be better than that?
What is a Calorie?
Let’s start with the basics: what exactly is a calorie? Essentially, a calorie is a unit of energy that allows us to stay active, grow, and function throughout the day. We take in calories from our food and drinks and the ironic thing is that calories, in general, seem to have a pretty bad reputation these days. Many fad diets you read about will focus solely on cutting down on or restricting calories, when in fact, they’re essential for our survival. Thus, calories are not themselves bad, but rather, it’s the amount of consumption factored in with the lack of exercise that leads to health problems. We need calories throughout the day from proteins, carbs, fats, and sugars to keep us functioning and healthy.
But you need to be smart about what type of calories you consume in your daily diet. Focus on receiving the majority of your daily calories from health foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats and proteins. Try to avoid what we call “empty calories” that you get from highly processed foods or foods with added sugars and salts. Sure, these foods are certainly loaded up with calory, but they hardly give your body what it needs to grow, remain active, and stay in good health.
Check out this specially designed diet to help you get the right calories in your diet.
How Many Calories Should I Eat in a Day?
Now the question we’ve all been waiting for: how many calories should I be eating in a day? Well, the answer isn’t that simple. The amount of calories you should be consuming each day depends on a variety of different factors, including your age, weight, fitness level, level of activity, and even your genetic makeup.
Thus, to get an accurate range for your caloric intake, you should schedule a visit with your doctor or a nutritionist. They may also be able to help you outline a healthy diet that can help you meet your fitness and wellness goals. But there are still general guidelines in place for most people to give you a range of how many calories you should be shooting for. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, women are recommended to take in between 1,600 to 2,400 calories each day while men are recommended to receive 2,000 to 3,000 calories. But remember, this range depends on a variety of factors.
Why is it Important Burn Calories Throughout Your Day?
Juggling your work, family, friends, and your own personal goals can quickly take up all those hours in your day. For many of us, it can even be overwhelming as it seems like there’s just never enough hours in the day. So when will I have time for exercise? As more and more individuals ten to live inactive, sedentary lifestyle due to the nature of our work and our hobbies, finding time to exercise each day has become more important than ever.
But why is this? When you consume more calories than you burn, this can lead to significant health problems over time. With this type of lifestyle, you’ll eventually begin to add more body weight. And while a few extra pounds isn’t a major deal, when this adds up over the years, significant weight gain can lead to obesity, which has been linked to a litany of negative health issues for both your physical and mental health.
Over time, obesity increases your risk for developing a range of health problems, including:
- Type-2 diabetes.
- Sleep apnea.
- High cholesterol levels.
- Heart disease.
- Gallbladder disease.
- Limited mobility.
- Body pain and joint stiffness.
- Mental health issues (including anxiety and depression).
- Certain types of cancer.
Burning Calories at Work
As you can see, burning calories throughout your day is vital to remain in good physical shape. But, of course, that’s often easier said than done. For most modern workers, the biggest challenge is finding time in your day to get in exercise. After working for eight hours a day, who has the energy to hit the gym?
Well, luckily you don’t have to worry about this quandary anymore. With the introduction of a range of office wellness products, such as bike desks and treadmill desks, you now have a convenient way to actually burn calories while staying productive at work. These devices are designed specifically to help office workers stay fit, focused, and healthier as they continue to get work done.
Conclusion – How Many Calories Should I Eat in a Day?
It’s important to remember that calories are not the bad guy here. Calories are essential for our bodies to grow, remain active, and thrive. But it is important to be conscious of what types of calories you’re consuming in your daily diet. Aim to get the majority of your calories from a healthy, balanced diet, filled with vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean meats. Avoid empty calories from sugary foods that don’t contribute much to a healthy diet.
To avoid the risks presented by a sedentary lifestyle, it’s important to find ways to manage your caloric intake throughout the day. Believe it or not, but there are ways that you can even burn calory at work. Take short breaks during your day to get in a quick walk or even just stand up for a little bit. Additionally, you can incorporate an office wellness product, such as a bike desk or a treadmill desk. These easy-to-use pieces of exercise equipment are incredibly functional and comfortable and serve as an effective way to burn calories while at work. Not only that, but some research suggests that using these devices while at work can also improve your focus, boost productivity, and enhance your mood and clarity. What’s not to love? Combat the ill effects of a sedentary lifestyle with office wellness products.