To maintain a healthy weight, you need to balance the amount of calories you consume through food and drink with the amount of calories you burn through physical activity. The amount of calories you should eat depends upon:-
- Age, height and gender
- Daily activity level
- If you want to lose, maintain or gain weight
Other factors can also affect how much energy you burn, some of it are as follows:-
- Hormones (chemicals produced by the body) such as thyroid hormones
- Medications – such as glucocorticoids (a type of steroid used to treat inflammation)
- Being unwell
A man needs around 10,500kJ (2,500Kcal) a day to maintain his weight. For a woman, that figure is around 8,400kJ (2,000Kcal) a day. In order to lose weight you need to eat less calories per day than your body needs. To lose 1lb a week you need a negative calorie balance of 500 calories per day. To lose weight at 2 lb a week you need to reduce your calorie intake by 1000 calories a day.
Research has shown that when you eat out, you are consuming around 200 extra calories per day. This increased intake occurs whether you eat at a full-service or fast-food restaurant. Not only are people taking in more calories when they dine out, but they are also consuming less nutritious food. Adults who eat at a restaurant consume more saturated fat, sugar, and sodium. The food we eat is the biggest cause of ill health due to its high salt, fat and sugar content.