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How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day?

Calories are essential for the body. Without calories, the body cells will die and vital organs, such as the heart and lungs will not be able to do its basic functions. As the unit of energy, calories refer to the energy obtained from the food and drink we consume every day. The body then uses that energy as fuel to do various daily activities. But the problem is, most people do not know yet how many calories they have to consume every day.

Too low or too high consumption of calories can cause health issues. Consuming too many calories can cause health risks, such as obesity, stroke, heart disease, and even cancer. how many calories should I eat a day? According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, women tend to need around 1600 kcal to 2400 kcal a day. While men need calories around 2000 kkal to 3000 kcal a day. While the Institute of Medicine mentioned that active women aged 31 years old to 50 years old need 2200 kkal per day. While active men aged 31 years old to 50 years old need around 2800 kcal to 3000 kcal per day.

However, you have to remember that every person needs a different amount of calories per day. So, you are suggested to calculate your own recommended intake of calories a day yourself. The most used formula by most nutritionists to calculate the recommended daily intake of calorie is the Harris-Benedict formula. This formula is calculated based on the age, gender, weight, and height.

how many calories should I eat a day
how many calories should I eat a day

The Importance of Calories for the Body

In order to sum it up, humans need calories to stay alive. Calories are the energy for the body. Without energy, body cells will not be able to perform well so that the organs in the body, including the heart and brain, cannot function properly. The minimal amount of the energy needed by the body so that all organs and systems can properly function is called Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR. This need is obtained through food and beverages.

Everybody also has daily activities. No matter how little the activity is, there will be calories needed. So, besides giving energy for the body and its organs, calories are also required to do daily activities. As it is said before, too low or too high consumptions can cause various health problems. If someone consumes too many calories, the body will save the excessive energy in the form of fat. And excessive fat in the body can cause various diseases, such as heart diseases.

On the other hand, if someone’s intake of calorie is too low, the body’s organs will lack the energy to carry out their functions. As a result, there will be disorders in the balance of body functions that will lead to various diseases as well.

List of High-Calorie Food

Whether you have to increase or decrease your intake of calories, here are the list of food that contain a lot of calories.


Nuts are high in calories. 25 grams of walnuts contain up to 185 calories. Besides walnuts, types of nuts that also contain a lot of calories are almonds, peanuts, and cashews. So, you can eat nuts if you need to increase your intake of calories or avoid them if you have to decrease it.


It is not a secret anymore that avocados are one of the fruits that contain so many calories. A medium-size avocado that weighs 200 grams contains around 332 calories.

Dried Fruits

Unlike fresh fruits, dried fruits are higher in calories. For example, 85 grams of dried raisins contain 260 calories.

Sweet Potatoes

The next food that contains a lot of calories is sweet potatoes. There are around 280 calories in a medium-sized sweet potato.


Rice is also included as high-calorie food. A small bowl of white rice contains around 240 calories. If you want to reduce your intake of calories, you can replace rice with brown rice or wheat bread that contains more fibers.


Affordable, easy to cook, and easy to find, making eggs always included in almost every recipe. One egg contains about 78 calories. Though this food is rich in calories, eggs are also rich in protein which is good for kids’ growth.

Dark Chocolate

The next is dark chocolate. Dark chocolate that contains 70 percent to 85 percent of cacao has 167 calories per 28 grams of it. The less cocoa contained in dark chocolate, the less calories contained as well.


Milk also contains a bunch of calories. A glass of powder milk contains 600 calories, a glass of buttermilk contains 152 calories, and a glass of whole milk contains 149 calories.

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How to Burn Calories

For those of you who have excessive calories in the body, here are some tips that you can try to burn calories.

Consume Healthy Fat

Consuming foods that contain healthy fat, such as olive oil, hemp seed oil, and flaxseed oil can help you to quickly burn calories. However, you should also make sure that the amount of the healthy fat is not excessive.

Consume More Proteins

The body requires more time to digest proteins. Proteins are also helpful for stabilizing your blood sugar level for a long time. So, you are suggested to consume foods that contain a lot of proteins, such as fish.

Consume Spices

Consuming spices can also help to speed up calories burning in your body. Try to consume ½ teaspoon of cinnamon every day in order to increase your metabolism as well as maintain your blood sugar. If you are not a fan of cinnamon as the mixture in your coffee, you can opt for involving other spices in your meals, such as ground red pepper or wasabi.

That is the information related to calories. So, are you still curious about how many calories you should intake every day? Make sure your intake of calories is just right so that you can maintain your health well.

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