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"What is a safe number of calories to consume in a day?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat is a safe number of calories to consume in a day?

Question

I know that the key to losing weight is cutting your calories, which I'm trying to do. Is there a minimum number of calories I have to eat during a day to be healthy though? I want to lose weight but I don't want be malnourished.

Answer

This is a great question that depends largely on your overall health, and how much weight you need to lose. It also depends on how many calories you burn in a given day with your normal activity and exercise that you may be adding to your daily routine. For example, if you burn 2,000 calories a day as your basal metabolic rate and exercise by walking briskly for 2 miles a day, then you likely need to eat less than 2,200 calories per day to lose weight. Overall, I think its healthy to lose no more than 3-5 lbs per month for a person that is moderately overweight. 1 pound of weight loss is equal to about 3,600 calories. This means that you need to burn an extra 600 calories a day to lose that kind of weight. Thus, if you burn 2,000 calories per day, then eating 1,400 calories per day is a good number to shoot for. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can discuss your weight loss strategy with your in more detail. In addition, I think you would benefit from a referral to speak to a certified nutritionist who can dive into the details of your diet and how to lose weight in a healthy way.

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