ZocdocAnswersHow many calories should I eat in a day?

Question

How many calories should I eat in a day?

Can a doctor tell how many calories I should be eating a day based on my weight/body type. I always see ?based on a 2,000 calorie diet? on nutrition labels. Is that a normal calorie intake? I don't think I eat that much but I AM overweight

Answer

The amount of calories you should eat depends on many factors. In a perfect world, I would tell you to eat less calories than you burn (if you are trying to lose weight). However, this is easier said than done. This is because it is impossible to tell exactly how many calories you burn in a given day, and it is almost equally as hard to tell how many calories you take in each day. The amount of calories you should eat each day will depend on your basal metabolic rate, and the amount of physical activity you do each day. A 2000 calorie diet is probably good for the average person, but so few people are actually average. Thus, it is possible that a diet consisting of less than 2000 calories may be appropriate for you. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Bring with you a list of all the food you have eaten each day for breakfast lunch and dinner for a week. He or she can take a close look at your diet and perhaps pinpoint some of the areas in which you can improve. You would also benefit from a referral to a nutritionist. This is a health care worker that has specialized in helping people with their diet's and pointing them in the right direction to achieve their weight goals.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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