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Posted on: 7-Jun-2016 11:44am

How much should I be eating?

How much you should eat depends on how active you are. If you eat more calories than your body uses, you gain weight. What are calories? Calories are a way to count how much energy is in food. The energy you get from food helps you do the things you need to do each day. Try to choose foods that have a lot of the nutrients you need, but not many calories.

Just counting calories is not enough for making smart choices. Think about this: a medium banana, 1 cup of flaked cereal, 1-1/2 cups of cooked spinach, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, or 1 cup of 1% milk all have roughly the same number of calories. But, the foods are different in many ways. Some have more of the nutrients you might need than others do. For example, milk gives you more calcium than a banana, and peanut butter gives you more protein than cereal. Some foods can make you feel fuller than others.

Here’s a tip: In the USDA Food Patterns, eating the smallest amount suggested for each food group gives you about 1,600 calories. The largest amount has 2,800 calories.


How many calories do people over age 50 need each day?

A woman:

who is not physically active needs about 1,600 calories
who is somewhat active needs about 1,800 calories
who has an active lifestyle needs about 2,000–2,200 calories

A man:

who is not physically active needs about 2,000 calories
who is somewhat active needs about 2,200-2,400 calories
who has an active lifestyle needs about 2,400-2,800 calories

Here’s a tip: Aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Ten-minute sessions several times a day on most days are fine.


Source: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/healthy-eating-after-50#howmuch
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