How Many Calories Your Body Actually Needs
The ideal caloric intake varies widely from person to person. Factors such as age, gender, and fitness level should influence the number of calories you consume, but you can’t adjust your caloric intake based on those factors alone. In fact, WebMD says:
“Whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain weight, or stick to your current weight, you might be tempted to look up the suggested calories per day for your gender, age, and activity level. The following chart should only be used as a reference point, because every person is so different metabolically even when they are the same size and gender.”
Suggested calorie ranges are generated using the Institute of Medicine’s estimated energy requirement calculation.
Signs You’re not Getting Enough Calories
Some people count calories to make sure they are eating enough, others count in order to lose weight. Whenever you’re counting calories, though, there is always the chance you won’t consume enough, especially when you’re working out. Eating too few calories can do more harm than good. Symptoms of not eating enough calories include:
- Muscle loss
- Slower metabolism
- Missed periods in women
- Hormone swings
- Trouble focusing
- Struggling to exercise
Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist if you notice any of these warning signs of low caloric intake.