How Many Calories Should You Eat?Mar 10, 2020
Calories matter. How Many Should You Eat in a Day?
Almost daily, I see media stories that promote the idea that you can eat whatever you want, as long as you include or avoid certain foods or food groups. The messages often suggest that you can eat until you’re full and follow your intuition when it comes to what your body wants or needs. In truth, knowing how many calories to eat each day radically improves your results.
Now, I agree that this is an incredible ideal to work towards for sure. Ultimately, I believe that the goal is for us all to be able to eat intuitively. But first, you have to establish stable blood sugar and learn your body's signals of hunger and appetite. When blood sugar is unstable, the hormones that govern hunger and appetite (leptin, ghrelin, cortisol and insulin) tend to be out of balance.
Following an eating strategy for a few months helps to set you up for more accurate intuitive eating.
But in my experience in working with women, most often if we follow what we "want" we'd end up eating chocolate, wine, and sweets most of the time. Is this true for you? It's rare that I meet a woman who is eating exactly what her body needs, without cravings or hunger that lead to foods high in fat or sugar.
In truth, if left unchecked, most of us crave fat and sugar more than cruciferous vegetables and lean proteins.
If you are happy with the current status of your body (weight body, body composition, energy, vitality) eating intuitively is a fantastic goal. However, if you have specific goals that you want to reach, calories matter. And paying attention to them can help you reach your goals faster and easier.
Now, if you simply want to enjoy life and eat without restriction, you can get away with disregarding calories. Just know that you might end up with a bit more body fat, lagging energy, or food cravings. And that’s totally fine, if you’re totally fine with that.
The problem I’ve been seeing is that women try to eat intuitively, but then are frustrated when they don’t reach their goal. They believe that they can eat whatever their body requests as long as they workout. They want to eat intuitively and without restriction, but then are unhappy because they can't lose weight.
If you struggle with fatigue and stamina, calories matter.
Calories also matter if your goal is to lose weight.
If you want to perform better at your sport or during workouts, calories provide fuel (carbohydrates), the building blocks of repair (protein), and the resource for producing important hormones (fat).
Wan to improve your body in any way? I encourage you to consider taking a few weeks to observe and learn how to structure and supervise the calories that you're eating. After all, your body is a super sophisticated machine that needs intelligent fuel in order for it run optimally. Getting smart about your calories will give you an edge in achieving the exact goals you have for yourself.
To learn how many calories to eat each day for your goal, check out the video below!
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