4.28.2010

Energy Balance

One of the top questions I get asked as a dietitian is "How many calories do I need to eat." Unfortunately, this is not an easy question to answer, because every individual needs a different amount of calories based on many things: sex, age, height/weight, weight loss/weight gain goals, and physical activity. It is not a simple equation.

Did you know all of our nutrition labels and percentages of daily needs are based on a 2000 calorie diet? This can be high or low for some people, but it is the average need for most people. If you would like to know a general number of calories, there are many "calculators" you can use on the net, or for more specific needs, a dietitian is your best bet. There is also something called a Med Gem that can measure the calories that you need. It is a simple device that you breath into that can determine the calories your body needs and one of the most accurate ways of determining this.

Did you know this is something you can do at your local Hy-Vee with your Hy-Vee dietitian?

Also, your calorie needs change as you change, whether that is weight, age, or physical activity. It is all about energy balance, calories in vs calories out. If you get more physical activity, you get more calories. Another great reason to get moving!