Sunday, February 24, 2008

How many calories do you really need?

Figuring out ex-act-ly how many calories to consume each day can be a, well, consuming task. Luckily, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 lays out a list of the average daily calorie allowance for healthy adults with a healthful BMI — 21.5 for women and 22.5 for men — based on the amount of activity a person performs each day. Note that in this context, sedentary means a lifestyle with only the light physical activity associated with daily living; moderately active means a lifestyle that adds physical activity equal to a daily 1.5–3 mile walks at a speed of 3–4 miles per hour; active means adding physical activity equal to walking 3 miles a day at the 3–4 mph clip.

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