By now, if you’ve already read my previous post on healthy living guidelines and guidelines for healthy eating, then you probably know what my number is for healthy eating. However, that number is just the average total calories that a healthy woman should eat. In reality, a healthy woman would eat somewhere between 830 to 850 calories a day – as many for weight loss as she eats for the day to maintain a healthy weight. If she was an active or athletic female, her average daily calories would likely be significantly higher. However, healthy female athletes would likely have little to worry about:
Healthy female body weight is often directly related to daily calorie intake
Body fat is generally stored as a fat-free mass
A healthy female’s ability to burn fat to maintain weight depends on how active she is
How much is enough? The answer to this question varies from person to person and body to body, but, again, it’s best to work from something more like 12 to 15,000 calories a day. There is also a very interesting debate raging among nutrition experts: How much protein can a woman consume each day without starving herself? The answer has proven extremely controversial, with some researchers recommending that a woman shouldn’t even consume more than 20% of her total calories as protein (the same amount as a men’s bodyweight).
The bottom line? The healthiest female body weight can be maintained by getting the average calorie intake you would get if you were simply eating all of your meals as they were prepared and eating the calories. And I say averaging calories, because calorie levels aren’t all-inclusive. The more the body uses calories, the higher the daily caloric deficit can be.
Why we lose weight and maintain our weight loss
So why do we retain weight after weight loss? The primary reasons we lose weight are a) because of lack of exercise, and b) because of “diabesity”: or obesity in excess of 100 pounds. As previously mentioned, muscle mass increases about 30% after weight loss, so we need more calories. One of the best ways of making up the lost calories is to exercise a lot and burn a lot of calories. However, exercise is a finite resource and you will quickly burn through your exercise allowance (calories) just from just sitting or standing for the daily activity. In addition to being more sedentary, eating a lot makes us fidgety because it demands that we sit and get active, which is a key problem for most healthy