Calories are the unit of measurement of food, the equivalent of meters and kilometers to measure not distances but steaks, pasta dishes, fruits and sandwiches. How many calories should I eat a day? Each food has its equivalent in calories, which can be even heavier if, for example, the pasta dish is enriched with oil, cheese or other ingredients. Knowing with precision the exact number of calories of each dish is the first thing to do if you want to calibrate the diet on what is our daily needs. Which, of course, is not the same for everyone.
On average, a man must consume more calories than a woman, young people more than the elderly, but also sportsmen than those who practice a more sedentary lifestyle. Taking the right number of calories means respecting a healthy diet, capable of supplying the body with all the energy it needs to carry out all its daily activities. Those who have a few extra pounds, of course, can take into account how much to subtract to return to the ranks. So, how many calories do men and women have to take every day? And how many should they take less to lose weight? Here is a brief table, obviously drawn up for broad categories.
Adult man of 70 kg
An average man who does office work and who does not practice much physical activity needs an average of 2,000-2,200 calories per day. If you are running, playing sports or following an energy-intensive lifestyle, your daily calorie requirement rises to 2600 calories.
Adult woman of 55 kg
A woman who does not have any particular physical activity, on the other hand, must consume an average of 1,600-1,800 calories per day, which can become 2,500 if she practices sports or exercises.
Children and adolescents
The calorie requirement changes in children, from 1,000 calories in the first year of life to 2,400-2,700 for boys of 14 years and 2,200-2,500 for girls of the same age.
If you want to lose weight, on average, you have to subtract about 600 calories from your daily calorie requirement. A middle-aged woman who wants to lose up to a pound and a half a week, i.e. 6-7 kg within a month, should therefore limit herself to taking 1,000-1,200 calories throughout the day. Difficult, of course, but not impossible, especially if the sacrifice is limited to a rather short period of time, the one needed to regain its weight form and regain an enviable silhouette. Yes, but what calories to cut? Basically, those contained in foods rich in added sugars, hydrogenated polyunsaturated and vegetable fats, rather abundant condiments, but also bread or pasta.
Simply reducing portions, sometimes, is a simple and effective remedy to lower the daily amount of calories consumed, as well as limiting the consumption of carbonated drinks, coffee and alcohol. And so a particularly abundant ice cream should not be the corollary of a rich and nutritious dinner, but… the dinner itself. Or the consumption of a banana, after a very nutritious meal, should be postponed to the next day. Not to mention almonds, peanuts, peanuts and other snacks, often taken in large quantities immediately after the meal, which should be banned or limited to a maximum of 5 almonds. Beyond DIY calculations, however, the most useful advice if you want to observe a real diet is to turn to a nutritionist or an experienced dietitian, able to carefully assess not only the number of calories per day, but also the balanced intake of vitamins, proteins and dietary fiber that our body needs to not go into suffering during the treatment.
Dining outside the house
You can go out for dinner just for convenience or to have the opportunity to be with friends and family because dinner is also a convivial moment and the work, generally, leaves room only in the evening, but it is not necessary to have a dinner as often happens when you go out. During the week you can go to dinner as a couple, with the family or in company just to eat a pizza and a little more, let’s give an example:
Pizza with mozzarella, tomato and oil (margherita) of medium size (200 g), 700 Kcal.
Pizza margherita with the addition of ham or sausage, 1000 Kcal .
One 33 cl beer, 110 Kcal .
A sweet like a tiramisu, small, no more than 100 g, 385 Kcal .
A frugal cup of strawberries without sugar, but with two scoops of cream ice cream, 210 Kcal.
This dinner, which may seem easy, brings about 1,000 to 1,500 Kcal. Even if you choose a 1,000 Kcal dinner, you can take about 400 Kcal more than you should on average.
How to reduce calories by dining in a pizzeria
In many pizzerias you can eat fish, vegetables, meat, pasta, foods that, if eaten in the right amount, can bring less calories than a classic pizza. Instead, if you want to dine while eating the pizza you have to choose sizes and fillings:
Half a pizza margherita (shared with a friend), 350 Kcal .
Mixed salad to taste: green, tomatoes, carrots, celery, fennel, etc.. with a tablespoon of oil (10 g) lemon juice or vinegar about, 100 Kcal.
One 33 cl beer, 110 Kcal .
The above provides about 560 Kcal, the right amount for the typical 2,100 calorie daily diet.
If you do not want to give up the whole pizza you can opt for the seafood pizza (pasta, tomato, oil, garlic) in this case, however, the dinner would be free of animal protein contained in the mozzarella, but the balance between macronutrients can also be achieved with other meals of the day.
One solution is pizza with tomato, oil, basil and Grana Padano DOP (25 g thinly sliced or grated), which contains less fat than that contained in the amount of mozzarella that is usually used and provides more nutrients such as: proteins with high biological value, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, which together with lycopene contained in the tomato are a real cure-all against free radicals. This pizza brings about 390 Kcal and, drinking water instead of beer, there could still be a salad as above, thus reaching 490 Kcal.
Dining at home
As explained above, most people come to dinner with a lot of hunger and often eat much more than they should or believe. Example:
A first course of 70 g of pasta with a vegetable sauce and 10 g of extra virgin olive oil brings about 350 Kcal.
80 g of fresh cheese (stracchino or crescenza) brings about 210 Kcal
A side dish of raw vegetables with a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil (5 g) and lemon brings about 50 Kcal.
50 g of bread (baguette), 140 Kcal .
One glass of wine (average alcohol content) 125 ml, 110 Kcal . Idem a 330 ml Beer.
You would think that a dinner like the one described above is a light meal, after all “it is just two strands of pasta, a little bit of stracchino, a salad practically rounded, a piece of bread, a glass of wine. In reality, this dinner brings 860 Kcal and few proteins, so, compared to the average taken into account, there are 260 Kcal more than due that, being taken at the end of the day when the metabolism slows down and before night’s rest, it is very likely that a good part goes to feed the reserves of fat instead of being “consumed”.