What Should My Caloric Intake Be?

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According to the USDA, calorie intake is based on a variety of factors including age, gender, height, weight, and level of activity. The recommended intake for an adult female is around 2,000 calories per day; and, for an adult male is 2,500 calories per day.

The USDA has issued a chart as a guideline based on recommended caloric intake and activity level for an individual on getfit.tn.gov. The FDA recommends no more than 30 percent of the calories come from fat; that equals approximately 600 calories from fat in a 2000 calorie-diet or 750 calories from fat in a 2500 calorie-diet. These values are given for individuals trying to maintain a healthy weight. Anyone trying to gain or lose weight would need to intake more or fewer calories respectively than the recommended levels.

According to the Health Library at Bistro MD, a diet that is too low in calories can be as harmful or even more harmful than a diet with a intake level that is too high. During exercise, your body burns calories at an increased rate. That means your recommended calorie intake should be slightly higher than the average. It is important to take your activity level into account when determining the proper calorie intake.